Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Frontliners Frontliners Club: 1st Annual Dinner--21/12/2007

Time to lay the sticks down and eat!

Eleven people made it that night to Faces, plus honoured guests Pr. Thomas Barnabas, youth pastor of RGBC and Mr. James Looi, PFA president. Being the first in the history of forever for the club, the people were a little unsure of what to do when the food arrived (Can eat already or not?). Sitting there and looking at each other... the CEO finally started talking, the usual welcome speech, then introduced Pr. Thomas and Mr. James.
Pr. Thomas thanked the players for playing for the church team and encouraged them to keep playing and expanding the club. Mr. James then spoke, about how floorball was not just about playing and getting better, but also about the fellowship and growing as a person.

"...and like the food, let us sizzle on the court." Pr. Thomas finished the prayer of blessing then left to attend another meeting, and everyone finally started eating.

The CEO passed out the club yearbooks, another bright idea of his, containing this year's blog entries from January right up to December, and requested that each player write a short message on everyone's yearbook.
SanJeevan and Kannan, who where vegetarians and only ordered coffee, started off on the books, Kannan strangely drawing a funny face and a couple of other signs, then picking a line from SanJeevan's message and writing it down. Hilarious.
Dimmed lights and slow music, the players noticed the empty stage in front and pushed Pei Li to go up and play something for them. She just laughed it off and replied that she would, only if Kannan joined her.
The food was not bad and reasonably priced, and as it got darker, those who finished eating first went around writing for their teammates while waiting for the others who enjoyed eating at a slower pace. Almost half the time there was spent writing and talking, having fun with each other, as it was the players who funded their own meals.
Alice made a surprise entrance late into the night, limping slightly from her previous accident three months ago, and showed a three-inch long scar on her leg that had prevented her from training.
Nearing its end, the CEO called everyone together and thanked them for coming, then passed out what he owed the players from the recent Dalat League outing, 20cents. Small, but meaning a lot in terms of progress and achievement. He then gave each player their mystery gift as promised for achieving the goals they set, also in Dalat League. The mystery gift? A bead keychain of different shapes, some caterpillars, some rabbits, others balls.
For those who did not play for Frontliners (Sarah, James, Roselyn), he gave them a keychain each, bought from Camerons during the Unleashed! Sports Leadership Camp.
Not finished yet, he then thanked the management team personally, Cap'n Marvel Steven for being a wonderful equipment manager and transport minister, Kuan Yang for being his trusted assistant and teacher, Sarah for seeing his many flaws and correcting him and starting the spark that would eventually produce an all-girls team, and Pei Li for doing a great job with the blog. All of the above were considerably nervous when he talked, and if not for the dim lighting, would have been seen blushing.

A 'see you in 2008' by the CEO appropriately ended the 1st Annual Dinner of the club.

*He apparently forgot to thank one more person in the management team for his outstanding vision and drive that brought the club up and running, and also his wonderful work ethic and commitment to the players' individual development, but it probably was on purpose, therefore that person shall remain unnamed.*

Rooban, 14

Rooban is a nomadic player for Innebandy! Co. who supposedly trains at almost every training held here in Penang. Coming for Frontliners training more often than some other Frontliners, he is an impressive player whose shots and control are much better than most of the older players in the club.
Possessing extremely long and thin legs that make him unable to even go more than half-a-foot past his knees when attempting to touch his toes, he is a very calm player who never seems to be fazed by pressure or circumstances. Which might not be a totally good thing. Although he has improved wonderfully in his shots, he needs to be a little meaner on court and start being more aggressive.
Lately he has been asking for a discount in his attendance fees (RM4 for club players, RM7 for non-club players), looking at the number of times he had attended training.

Verdict: Well. Like Lin Ken, there must be something special about this boy if he gets a whole post to himself. Yes, he deserves it, based on his good progress and attendance for a club not his own, although there are some disadvantages, not being a Frontliner, this being Frontliners blog, because now the rating would be a little biased, though really, fair enough. (6.5/10)
Play of the year: His gradual and consistent progress throughout the year.
Prediction for next season: The club should make more effort in enticing him to join, because he is definitely a player to watch out for in the coming years.

Kao Lin Ken, 22

Kao Lin Ken, the penuh-aksyen keeper of Innebandy! Co and national no. 1 goalie who comes for Frontliners training whenever he is down in Penang. This man practically lives, sleeps, and breathes floorball and, according to him, could not possibly live without it.
He became the Special Goalkeeping Coach for the club in April after Youthwave, and was a more familiar face in training than Frontliner Sharron Tan this year.
A player who brings in all the noise needed to training, this perky-to-the-point-of-annoying-likeable-attention-grabber was the one player who kept the Frontliners Spirit going when it burned low. No words need be said of his skill and talent between the posts other than because there is hardly anyone around that can measure up to him.
To bring him back down to earth, however, he does have weaknesses, one he confesses to himself. Prone to occasional lapses, he does let in goals from shots that any mediocre goalie should save. Maybe he saves himself for the spectaculars.

Verdict: For a visiting player from a rival club to get himself mentioned so many times in this blog, this player most definitely must be special. (7/10)
Play of the year: Check out the video in the blog in November. Saving Sasi's airhook is no mean feat, and getting it recorded on video makes that achievement even bigger.
Prediction for next season: Hopefully to continue coming for Frontliners training, because his presence benefits everyone around, but work would most probably take center stage next year.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Delton Khoo, 14(2005-present)

Six feet tall and still growing. Delton Khoo joined the club two years ago, but due to school commitments, could not come on a regular basis until the holidays started and training was temporarily changed to Fridays.
Of what has been seen so far (not very much), he is a player with potential, but the right key is needed to unlock it.

Verdict: Only came twice this year for training, so he gets a N/A for his rating
Play of the year: Coming, though twice only, for training.
Prediction for next season: Look forward to seeing more of him next year, if school does not get in the way. Not to be always present, but neither to disappear again.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Kew Pei Li, 14(2006-present)

Nice scowl. Maybe it's what she thinks might scare the guys off. Whatever it is, Kew Pei Li is a Frontliner through and through, coming for almost every training this year, playing in every tournament (Youthwave- Frontliners Roses, POC, Dalat League), and in charge of the club's blog.
She has played as a goalkeeper before, but is more suited to playing outfield as she is an athletic and aggressive player. Over-aggressive sometimes, even in training, as she strangely chooses to knock into players, especially her sister, even when the ball is nowhere near. Prone to concentration lapses, but if she concentrates well she can be a very good player. As unpredictable as... Liverpool (which coincidentally is the club she supports), when she has a good time she can do very well but when she doesn't she looks like she's crippled. Being a defender, she mostly needs to work on her positioning and one-touch control. She sometimes plays as if she had two left feet, tripping over herself and other people so constantly that no one comes to help, they just laugh.

Verdict: Winning the gold in Youthwave certainly helped, and so did her rapid improvement up until now. A lot still to learn, but for now, a (7/10) would do.
Play of the year: Her performance in Penang Open Challenge, where she overshadowed some bigger, older players and impressed with her defence play.
Prediction for next season: For all her shortcomings, Pei Li is an incredibly committed and talented player, who does have the drive and motivation to make things happen. Time is on her side, and in a long run she could just make it big time.

Steven Tay, 27(2002-present)

Glamorous (check out the shoes). Steven Tay, the final one of the three ancient dinosaurs who were there when it all began. Ex-coach and current so-called 'wise man' of the club, it was he who first introduced Jason and Kuan Yang to the game, bringing them up until this year when he handed the club over to Jason's reliable hands. He is both the Equipment Manager and the Transport Minister for the club, good ones at that, too.
An extremely versatile player, he currently plays in defence for the club. His control betters that of SanJeevan, and he is a very calm person on the court. Up to now, he is the only person who can do an airhook well and pretty. Injuries this year caused him to miss the first two tournaments, but he was able to re-join the club before Dalat League, though he has somewhat mellowed down a little.

Verdict: Though injured, he was seen a lot more times in training than some others who remained injury-free the whole year. Top marks for his dedication. (7.5/10)
Play of the year: His superb performance in defence in Dalat League against Dalat 1, shutting out their attackers and marshalling the defence.
Prediction for next season: Look out for his full return to the floorballing scene as he shakes off what remains of his injury and spearheads the Frontliners return to the top.

SanJeevan, 18(2006-present)

SanJeevan, who looks much older here before he shaved. Very quiet, shy and when he speaks, soft, this silent killer here is one of the better players in the club who prefers to do his talking on the court. As a defender, his control is immaculate, his vision good, and his shots impressive, but there is always room for improvement. In his case, it is in release time and aggression. His shots might be good, but from the time he takes to receive the ball, adjust his position, take a quick look up, then finally release the ball, one or more defenders might already have taken the ball off him.
He played in all tournaments this year (Youthwave- Team Genesis, POC, Dalat League), most of the time on the losing side.

Verdict: Almost always a regular fixture in training and tournaments, he has done and improved plenty, so much so that he is right there with Kuan Yang and Jason. (8/10)
Play of the year: His long-range stunner against the Underdawgs in Dalat League that kicked off the tournament for the Frontliners and made sure they started on a good note.
Prediction for next season: The commitment to floorball that made him who he is can drive him right to the top. Next year will just get better and better for him.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Por Kai Yann, 14(2007-present)

Floorballer at heart and by nature, Por Kai Yann was discovered by the coach, and soon he played floorball like he had been playing it for all his life. Cool and calm on the outside, not so much on the inside, he amazed Kuan Yang after some good play, when all he had was a simple three-hour lesson by the coach. His control is good and he knows where the goal is, but extra power and energy is lacking. The coach, whenever talking through a drill, makes him stand right in front, because this man here has a tiny problem with paying attention to his surroundings.
He played in all the tournaments this year (Youthwave- Team Genesis, POC, Dalat League) and improved throughout, though confessing to some shaky nerves in POC.

Verdict: Taking part in all three was a surprise as he hardly came for training. A minus point, looking at what he could have been, but facts and reality are what matters. Deal with it. (5/10)
Play of the year: With his level of play, constantly appearing to have practiced a whole lot more than he actually did.
Prediction for next season: This boy has so much potential, but the coach cannot drag him to training everytime there is one. He needs to wake up and start playing seriously, however oxymoronic that sounds, if he is to live up to his potential. Maybe not next year, but in the years to come, he will definitely be someone to watch out for.

Parthiban, 14(2007-present)

Parthiban holds the not-much-wanted distinction of the smallest guy in the club. He joined the club in August this year, and is a very ambitious player. The moment he saw Kuan Yang play, he told the coach he wanted to be like that and go even higher.
His enthusiasm a little dampened by the coach's follow-up (the list of honors and medals the man had won), he nevertheless continued to train.
He usually stands deep inside his opponent's half and waits for the ball to come to him. Some good passes shows that he does have an eye for passing but he needs to learn to drop back and support his team more often and also put the team ahead of himself.
He did not play in any of the tournaments and has not been seen in training for two months.

Verdict: Definitely progressed, but maybe not enough. (4/10)
Play of the year: Scoring two goals in a training match once, not awesome or anything, but it's a start.
Prediction for next season: His progress would parallel his effort put in. He has plenty to learn, and if he takes them well he would be in a good position.

Tania Loke, 14(2007-present)

Tania Loke joined the club in April but did not show much improvement until she started taking a stick and ball back home to practice. Though not that athletic, she is a diligent and persistent player who does not even think about giving up. She even surprised the coach with her ability to control the ball, relax and release it again after only a few months later. She also competes with Roselyn for the 'Smallest Lady' title in the club.
She did not take part in any of the tournaments this year.

Verdict: A fast learner. Her attitude and progress is something to be admired. (5.5/10)
Play of the year: Getting a stick, finally, after being persuaded by the coach. Not only a stick, it is a symbol of her commitment to the club and floorball.
Prediction for next year: Fifteen next year, like Sonia, but this lady has plenty of brains to keep up with both studies and floorball. To keep on growing, both in size and sport.

Nareenthiran, 18(2006-present)

Nareenthiran, the big man of the club. Though soft-spoken, his sheer size can already intimidate some smaller players (try running against him and trying to knock him off the ball, it's hard for a girl). Though not a prolific scorer, he can still score, especially close-ranged ones. He also mostly remembers to use both his hands, to the coach's relief.
He played in two tournaments this year (Youthwave- Team Exodus, Dalat League), not very much, but in the little time that he did it was established that he was another steady player who had improved.

Verdict: Not someone who can change the course of the game in one magic movement, but it was not bad progress from this man. (5/10)
Play of the year: Nothing stands out, but maybe it's all very well. Slow and steady might not win the race but would most definitely finish it.
Prediction for next season: To continue his progress and maybe surprise everyone else.

Sonia Frances Gopal, 14(2007-present)

Sonia Frances Gopal joined the club this year in early September after being invited by another newcomer, Tania. Nothing much can be determined from her style of play yet as she has only come for training three times this year. What could be determined, however, was her enthusiasm to try and learn, and for everything else... they can be worked on.

Verdict: Starting very late in the year, nothing can be said, really. Rating also N/A.
Play of the year: Coming for training... and staying.
Prediction for next season: It will be an important year for her, and she must start taking floorball seriously if she ever wants to go higher, but to be frank, nothing much is expected.

Mekananth, 18(2006-present)

Happylegs. Mekananth is the fastest player in the club and also one of the cheerful-est, embarassing some of the Chinese with his knowledge of Hokkien. His pace is the main thing that sets him apart from the others. His shots would be well enough if he could hit the target more than he misses, but he constantly forgets that he has two perfectly usable hands. The coach got so fed up that he one day strapped Megan's other hand to the stick.
A natural attacker, he has a good sense of positioning but needs to work on his shot accuracy. As has been said so many times before, he is a solid player with just that little extra, showed when he played in all the tournaments this year (Youthwave- Team Exodus, POC, Dalat League).
He attended training on-and-off for the rest of the year.

Verdict: He improved, but would have improved even more if he had been consistently coming for training, although his ball control is much better now than at the beginning of the year. (6/10)
Play of the year: Very hard. Most likely his consistency, playing at the same level in each tournament.
Prediction for next season: He should continue to improve along with the club, if (big if) he starts to train and practice more.

Sharron Tan, 20(2002-present)

Long-time goalkeeper for Frontliners Floorball Club and national women's goalie (WFC 2005), ladies and gentlemen, Miss Sharron Tan.
Being there when it all started along with Sarah, Sharron has come a long way these six years. A strong character, as needed when playing for Frontliners and Malaysia, and growing stronger every year, she performed excellently in the tournaments this year, winning a gold in Youthwave as an outfield player in Frontliners Roses.
Her experience is matchless, being ancient compared to most players, but she might be just a little rusty as, due to work commitments, she has not come for training much this year.

Verdict: Better and better. Being at the top might encourage some to slow down and relax but not this lady. (7.5/10)
Play of the year: Her performance in Dalat League. Her goal before the games was to stay strong emotionally, and she more than did that -she kept the team strong.
Prediction for next year: Competition can only make her stronger, as new goalie Felicia pushes her all the way.

Khor Kuan Yang, 22(2005-present)

Khor Kuan Yang, technical advisor, one-time coach and dangerman of the club. He lives for floorball and is one of the top players in Penang, most recently representing Malaysia in APAC this year. It is both entertaining and discouraging to watch him play so effortlessly, as he appears to just so often waltz and float past other players and finish perfectly. Even the way he moves is laid back, though it is something not so good this time.
He makes floorball so beautiful.
He played in all three tournaments this year (Youthwave- Team Genesis, POC [player-coach], Dalat League [captain]) but sadly finished empty-handed and did not come for training ever since it switched to Fridays.

Verdict: Good, but he needs to play with quality players for him to really perform to his best. (8/10)
Play of the year: His goal and performance in Dalat League restored some pride to Frontliners. Good play.
Prediction for next season: To keep on improving as the others improve, setting the pace. No boundaries.

Sarah Ng, 22(2002-2005, 2007-present)

Captain Marvel. Experienced Player. Miss Reliable. Star Player.
The list could go on and on, but this lady simply goes by the name of Sarah Ng. National player for Malaysia in WFC 2005, state player for... countless times, and a proud Frontliners player.
One of the firsts in floorball ever since it was introduced in Penang, she has grown to be the top women's player in Penang. Ice cool on the court, she has remarkable focus and normally appears expressionless. Her control is excellent, vision and positioning brilliant, passing and shooting superb. Perhaps the only negative in her game is, as an attacker, not shooting enough and not releasing the ball fast enough.
This year she played in only one tournament for Frontliners (Youthwave- Frontliners Roses[captain] and more than justified her tag of top women's player. She did not play for POC and was in the Underdawgs team for Dalat League.

Verdict: Brilliant at the start, as always, she faded slightly later on, getting more involved in the Underdawgs and campus stuff. (7/10)
Play of the year: Her display as captain in Youthwave that inspired and carried the team all the way.
Prediction for next season: However much a Frontliner she is at heart, she cannot ignore her priorities in studies and the Underdawgs. Still, to continue to improve and stay at the top for however long she works at it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Roselyn Ewe, 17(2004-present)

Roselyn Ewe, who seems to come almost every week for training yet only played in one tournament this year (Youthwave- Frontliners Roses). This lady, who is one of the smallest players in the club, talks much more than her size indicates. She is a steady, solid player who has gained a good hold of floorball basics and is someone who gives 100% even though she is not athletic, and this showed when she helped the Roses go all the way and win the gold in Youthwave. She represented Penang in a friendly against NUS somewhere in July.
She was unable to play for Penang Open Challenge and Dalat League due to studies, being 17, and did not come for training anymore this year.

Verdict: Impressive progress this year. Even the coach and technical advisor were impressed. Not bad at all. (6/10)
Play of the year: Youthwave. The gold says it all.
Prediction for next season: Looking at the rate she improved throughout the year, she should continue to get better until she reaches a point where she cannot go further anymore. Thing is, how soon will that be?

Joshua Raj, 18(2006-present)

Joshua Raj, the pretty boy of the club. The one player who actually cares about how he looks when he plays. Looks are deceiving, however, and this guy is no mean player. Cocky and self-confident, this individualistic player can pull off some stunning plays all by himself, and is well suited to lead. His style of play differs greatly from Aaron’s, as he oozes with exuberance and is always aware of the crowd while playing. Playing in the first two tournaments of the year (Youthwave- Team Exodus[captain], Penang Open Challenge), he scored some good goals, particularly a beautiful solo goal in POC. It all went downhill after that as Alice’s disease passed on to him. Two bike accidents one after another prevented him from playing in Dalat League, and only recently did he come for training again in November, but he has yet to recover to full fitness.
Verdict: He did well, especially in POC, but good qualities aside, he needs to learn to be a team player and focus more on training than his ego. Still, his performance alone merits a (6/10)
Play of the year: Performed well in Penang Open Challenge and scored two goals.
Prediction for next season: Stepping up. The club needs leaders, and Joshua has the potential and the quality to go far, but there is always this tiny problem about pride. Conquer that, and add a whole lot of discipline into the bag and nothing would be impossible.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Jason Chan Ming Hwee, 25(2005-present)

One of the more experienced players in the club, Jason Chan Ming Hwee took on the coaching reins this year, temporarily laying it down after the Youthwave Floorball Tournament and becoming the club CEO, then taking it up again after the Penang Open Challenge. Full of charisma and possessing enormous passion for floorball and Frontliners Floorball Club, he became a national player just recently after representing Malaysia in APAC in December.
He played in all three tournaments this year (Youthwave- Frontliners Genesis[captain], Penang Open Challenge, Dalat League), scoring some delightful goals in the process.
Somewhere in late September his attitude changed from an old grouch during training to something a little more cheerful. One wonders what happened... though nobody is complaining. Heh.
Determined, dedicated, and disciplined (now where did that come from), he has everything in him to make it big time.

Verdict: Impressive play and progress, considering he is one of the older players in the club, he still made the time to practice and come for training. (8/10)
Play of the year: Hard to pick, but what stands out is the sweet goal he scored in Dalat League to deny Dalat 1 all three points, and also showing more teamwork and improvement than the previous tournaments.
Prediction for next season: Unpredictable. Meaning to what heights he can go. Perhaps this will help: "The person who goes the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare." His progress all depends on how much he desires to excel.

Lee Wai Wai, 23(2007-present)

Lee Wai Wai has the distinction of being the most injury-prone player ever since she joined the club. She joined the club in May after the Penang Open Challenge, but not before spraining her ankle twice. Although it was more of like August, after recovering fully.
Training on and off and another ankle injury meant that she could not play in Dalat League. Sensitive ankles... not that she could do anything about it. A player with both goalie and outfield experience, she is a solid player who, more often than not, does not make terrible mistakes or terrific plays.

Verdict: What is there to say? Coming for training for five times, at the most, one wonders where the blame must fall upon. More or less considered not to have played for the club yet. Rating N/A.
Play of the year: What play?
Prediction for next season: Working already, constantly growing older, time is not on her side, although she reportedly wants to come for training if there are no outstanding matters in work. Her biggest challenge would be to remain fit for the whole of next year, and if she can do that then she definitely would improve.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Koay Yi Lin, 16(2002-present)

Koay Yi Lin, who was there when it all began... re-joined the club this year after a long break, right before Youthwave, and was included in the team (Frontliners Carnations). She also played in the Dalat League (spent more time on the sidelines than on the court as overcome by cramps), however she was not included in the Penang Open Challenge squad. Uncommonly one of the right-stick players in the club, she boasts the title of one of the top scorers for the ladies... in training. Normally sticking around in the attacking half, this lady is adept in finding space and chasing down loose balls, and releasing one-timers that sometimes hit the target. If otherwise, however, her trademark act to follow is of one electric-shocked, noise included. Noise is what she brings into the court the moment she steps in, and a few weeks will not go by without at least a scream.

Verdict: A little lacking in basics, but nothing time cannot mend. She brings a certain positiveness to the club, but needs to improve much more (which she can) if she is to establish herself as a regular and make a difference. (5.5/10)
Play of the year: Dalat League. The time she did play, which was against Minden Underdawgs 2 and Dalat 1, she proved that she could hold the ball well, even under pressure. What most people remember, however, is the moment of entertainment provided when she panicked after catching the ball in mid-air.
Prediction for next season: Turning 17 next year, school could prove to be a big distraction, but if she can successfully manage both, then she should see herself becoming a regular in the ladies team for upcoming tournaments.

Ilaiya Pumaran, 18(2006-present)

Like Christopher Anand, though playing in both the Youthwave Floorball Tournament (Team Exodus) and Penang Open Challenge (reserve), Ilaiya Pumaran is virtually unknown. He, like so many others of his kind, has pace, but lacks the other basics that he would have learnt if he did come for training.

Verdict: Mostly unknown. Although more regular in coming for training than Christopher, it does not amount to much, and he has yet to show his full potential. (1/10)
Play of the year: This is hard... his best play would have been in Youthwave, although 'best' here does not really mean good. Average at his highest.
Prediction for next season: What next season? (Bar a miracle.)

Friday, December 7, 2007

June Kew, 17(2007-present)

June Kew, older sister to Pei Li but considerably younger in terms of floorball, joined the club two weeks before Youthwave. Impressing the coach enough with her abilities, she was included in the squad (Frontliners Carnations) for the upcoming tournament. She played reasonably well, for a beginner, and barely missed making the cut for the semis. Always seen with some kind of snack (orange/apple) midway through training, this lady gets hungry easily. "I took up floorball as a challenge... to do something I don't like." Her busy schedule took over, making it difficult for consistent attendance for training, and that showed as she did not make it for the next two tournaments.

Verdict: Average, at the most, her commitment needs to be called into question, but based on her improvement throughout the year, she did well enough for a (4.5/10)
Play of the year: Coming for training. And... managing to look up while controlling the ball.
Prediction for next season: One of the group who view floorball in a recreational sense, she needs to take floorball seriously if she is to improve, but all arrows point to her gradually fading away as, like Felicia, studies are an enormous distraction.

Goekula Kannan, 16(2006-present)

One of the group of players who just love to run. Kannan, the troublemaker of the club on and off the court, is like an Energizer battery that just does not have an ‘Off’ switch. His pace and stamina are definitely qualities that stand out, but just like Aaron Raj, he has a problem with control. Sometimes he just does not realize that he has two hands. Playing in all three major tournaments of the year (Youthwave-Team Genesis, POC, Dalat), he definitely has to have something that the coach recognizes in him. His performances were pretty okay, to the standards of the club, although he has already joined some others in the disappearing act as his hotheadedness fuels some off-the-court matters.

Verdict: Still showing some amount of improvement, to his and the coach's credit, but still not enough to make it a good year for him. (5/10)
Play of the year: Probably keeping his cool during the most recent outing in the Dalat League.
Prediction for next season: His future hangs in a balance. If he decides to play with his head, he should be able to play, but everything could go wrong if he loses his temper. To be positive... he can only get better as time goes by.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christopher Anand, 19(2006-present)

Christopher Anand, unknown to most of the newbies of the club. Surprisingly, though unable to come for training most of the time, he did play in the Youthwave Floorball Tournament (Team Exodus) and Penang Open Challenge (then being the reserve). Right after the POC he vanished and has not been heard of since.

Verdict: On and off appearances do not help his cause, and not much can be said about his progress or his play. (1/10)
Play of the year: Nothing really. His few appearances in the red and black jersey (Frontliners, not Man U) were not enough to guarantee an average performance.
Prediction for next season: Only to continue in his floorball rut. Soon to, if not already, reach rock bottom in floorball.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Felicia Yeow, 17(2007-present)

Felicia only recently joined the club some time before the Dalat League. Starting off as a outfield player, her style of play was quickly determined, as quoted: “I cannot play well but I can guard people well!” Prior to playing floorball, she had played in other sports such as hockey and football. During the time that she joined the club, it so happened that Lin Ken was around, and, as fate would have it, she exchanged her floorball stick for a goalie helmet. Proving herself to be a quick learner, she quickly learned the basics of goalkeeping from the master himself and soon established herself as a fearless, competitive goalie. She did not play for the Dalat League, however, being 17 and facing SPM.

Verdict: Plenty of potential in her to become a top goalie. She is a driven person, self-motivated and self-assured, and these qualities can only help her as she helps the team conquer the world. (6/10)
Play of the year: Becoming a goalie. Few players like to do that, and the club was only relying on Sharron Tan, but she made a decision and stood firm by it. Without doubt a rising star in the floorball goalie picture.
Prediction for next season: Things are looking up, and she should establish herself as the number one goalie for the club in time to come, but studies offer a big distraction as she is faced with some very important decisions that would shape her life.

Aaron Raj, 16(2007-present)

Aaron Raj, younger brother of charismatic personality Joshua Raj, had joined the club just this year before the Penang Open Challenge. Unlike his brother, though, he does not possess the exuberance and overwhelming confidence of Joshua, but instead prefers to quietly go about his work consistently. Pace is an asset for him, and so are his shots, but his poor control lets him down. Struck with the ‘one hand’ syndrome like so many others in the club, the coach made it his mission to re-educate Aaron. Coming for training regularly, though he did not play in the Penang Open Challenge, his hard work was finally justified when selected for the squad to play in the Dalat League. He put in some solid plays there, improving throughout the league. He vanished a few weeks after that due to studies.

Verdict: Proved himself capable of stepping out of Joshua's shadow, even almost reaching the point of overshadowing Big Brother. (6/10)
Play of the year: His performance in the Dalat League, where he showed sometimes that he could play well, bringing the ball out from defence and turning it into attack.
Prediction for next season: To continue his progress, and if things go his way and circumstances favour him, he should only get better and better as time goes by.

Alice Ong, 18(2002-present)

Alice Ong has been in Frontliners Floorball Club for a considerably longer time than most others, training there before the mass exodus of players. This year, being the victim of unfortunate circumstances, Alice re-joined the club after a motorbike accident in February but did not participate in the Youthwave Floorball Tournament in April while still recuperating. She appeared for training a few times before the Penang Open Challenge, and, as a result, was included in the squad for the above tournament. It was steady play from her, and she did put in a couple of consistent performances during the tournament. After the tournament, however, she disappeared again, and was met with another accident this time, ruling her out for almost the rest of the year. Alice can be considered one of the old hands of the club already, her experience putting her a notch above the others, but this year it was a case of a fading light as studies and other matters claim her more and more from floorball.

Verdict: ‘If only’s do not amount to much, but it is the case for Alice this year. (3/10)
Play of the year: Undoubtedly the Penang Open Challenge (being the only time she was playing...)
Prediction for next season: Hopefully to stay accident-free, but if her romance with bike accidents go on, it could be a long year for her.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Frontliners Floorball Club: Official Year-End-Review

The lights are off and the court is silent. Training has ended and the club is taking a break, and will resume next year.

Looking back at the year that has been, in floorballing terms, it is imperative that the question of how much the club has progressed (Note: not whether the club has or not progressed, but in fact how far it has) does not go unanswered.

To answer that question? Let us, then, step into the shoes of a few different people and see through their eyes. First, the pessimist (who shall remain unnamed): "One title... only one title, and a whole lot of 'better luck next time' moments... The club has really gone downhill since winning the gold in April."
Next, the optimist (who again shall remain unnamed): "One title is awesome already! No need to talk about how we did in the other ones. Excellent, man!"
The insider (national player, Sarah Ng): "We got the basics down, (the) commitment of players are slightly better, trainings are more organized and focused." (and also club player Por Kai Yann): "On my opinion, the club is getting better day by day. A lot of improvements are shown by the players including the coach as well. The club is growing bigger."
The outsider (who, in fact, is state coach Edward Lim): "Some players did improve on their skills... but it's the numbers. The club needs more people if it wants to move forward."
The coach (Jason Chan): "The club now has a vision and the right players who are committed to floorball."

It is obviously advisable to listen to the state coach and the club coach, but it is also important that the other views do not go unnoticed. Therefore, to mix them all together... here is the official year-end-review for Frontliners Floorball Club.

(For all you people who don't have time or just don't like to read long writeups, please scroll down to the bottom.)

In the beginning... of this year, that is, CEO-cum-Coach Jason Chan took over the club from old hands and revamped the entire system, setting goals and creating ways to achieve them. The blog was started to increase publicity for the club, and a new so-called 'management team' was formed.

The goal for this year, as stated in the first entry of this blog, was to strengthen the youth development of the club to secure the future of floorball in Penang, and also to develop a full ladies' team. Entering three tournaments this year (Youthwave Floorball Tournament, Penang Open Challenge, Dalat League), to quote a player: "It's like three different teams entering three different tournaments, the players and skills are all so different."

Although the only gold the club won was from the Youthwave FT, by Frontliners Roses, a point has to be made: of the six players who won the medal (Sarah Ng, Alice Ong, Kew Pei Li, Roselyn, Sharron Tan), two have disappeared and two others have not been seen for the past two months, leaving two out of the six.

What are the implications from this? One, that results do not reflect the rate of progress by the club. Two,that players do not stay forever. Being a club that comprises mainly of youths, it is inevitable that they get caught up with studies and work further down the road. It is therefore important that the club continues attracting and developing new players to ensure that it does not simply fade away.

And there you have the first goal, youth development. Has the club achieved it? To a certain point, yes. Attendance, instead of dwindling, has slowly gone up to an average of fifteen per training. So far there have been fifteen new faces, with up to six of them staying on, put together with four players who have left. (Enough statistics!)

One wonders... if an incomplete team of six players became champions, what could a full team of ladies do? The ladies currently in the club (Sarah, Pei Li, Wai Wai, Yi Lin, June, Tania, Sonia, Sharron, Felicia, Alice, Roselyn -- including long-time absentees) total to nine outfield players and two goalies. Almost enough.

Early this year, the coach stated that he had a two-year plan for the club. One year has passed, and all evidence indicates that the club is heading in the right direction, having the players with the right mentality, and a more-than-capable leader:)

(All right, all you people who scrolled down without reading the middle section can start here.)

Verdict: It has been a foundation-building phase for Frontliners Floorball Club, for to touch the skies one must first have a strong base. The club has progressed well enough for the coach to be extremely satisfied. (8.5/10)
Play of the year: Hard to choose... but it must be said that the entire team effort, plus the huge effort by the coach to survive and thrive together, showing the Frontliners Spirit, more than deserves this title.
Prediction for next year: Capable of reaching great heights, the club must first ensure it does not deteriorate but continue developing and staying with the goals that have been set. To continue to improve, and in time, hopefully win some titles:) The sky is no limit.

To end this: "It is not of importance where we stand, but in what direction we are moving." -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

PS. The club will be doing a basic review on each of its players, how he/she progressed this year, etc., a few every time, so look forward to it:)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Frontliners Training 231107

Expecting little but receiving much. Not the encouraged mentality of athletes who aspire for the top, but somewhere along the way there all help is welcomed, especially when it appears to be one of the lowest points in the year.

How melodramatic.

Be that as it may, this was the case for training today. Because it was held at such an unusual time (Friday-1.30pm), the coach expected only five people to come. Pleasant surprise, then, when Delton Khoo came. Pei Li lead the warm-up, and during that, Mekananth made his grand entrance.

The price of lovely biceps has inflated. Afraid that the players would become giants with bulging biceps and take over, Coach Jason decided to switch to another punishment. (This is only speculation, it is not an official statement.) Megan, who came late, and Rooban who could not control himself and went to the restroom without permission (whoa, this sounds like school...), were ordered to run back and forth from wall to wall the whole length of the court, Megan 30 times and Rooban 15.

While that was taking place, the other players did Snakes. After a while, the coach stopped the drill and called them over.

"After two rounds if I do not hear anything... anything positive from your mouths, you're gonna be like him (points to Megan, Rooban had already finished)."

The court was much more lively after that, and training progressed to Snake 2. The effects of having training at 1.30pm when Kai Yann and Pei Li had to take a break before their lunch came out the wrong way.

Later when everyone was fine, Coach Jason paired the players up and had them pass to one another across the court. He went to where each player was standing and demanded that they look directly at their partner's blade while controlling the ball, threatening them with said punishment if they looked down at the ball.

That done, he introduced a new drill: mini 2-on-1, designed by "Miss Pei Li". (Unnecessarily adding the 'Miss'. Payback, maybe, for the 'Mr' in his name almost every week.) A 2-on-1 in a small badminton court, but this time the goal was the big one, not a cone.

Match time now, 3v3's. Coach Jason tried out the Rotation system where the players moved constantly around, taking up different positions so that there always would be two options to pass for the player with the ball. This kind of play required plenty of stamina, and soon the players were almost running on empty, there being only one substitute. Rooban taught the Frontliners a lesson in shooting, scoring 4 goals.

It was surprising to learn that everyone had plenty of fun during training, even the coach, though there were some very tired legs when training ended.

"Even though you all haven't been training for two weeks already... everyone did okay."

High praise from the coach.

Only one more week before the month-long break in December. Attendance is not expected to improve, but... let's hope for another pleasant surprise, shall we?

Thursday, November 8, 2007


To all our Indian Frontliners... Mekananth(aka Megan), San Jeevan, Nareenthiran, Joshua Raj, Aaron Raj and Kannan... and all our indian(and non indians as well) readers around the globe... Happy Deepavali !!!

The Frontliners Floorball Club will resume training tommorrow at 3 - 5 pm. So make sure you are there after all the muruku, curries and chapati. Its time to get fit once again after the festive season.

During Deepavali, the Frontliners contingent visited Megan at his open house today at 3pm. The contingent includes coach Jason, Kai Yann, Sarah Ng, Sheryn Ng, Sharron Tan and Serene Tan. Coach Jason and Sharron Tan was the chaeuffer as usual.

Coach Jason prepared a warm up for all of them before they reach Megan's place. He made sure that everyone was in a Deepavali mood by blasting the radio with THR Raaga (the tamil radio station @ 99.30 fm .. check it out!!). While the tamil songs were in play... it seems the rhythm got into their souls... the whole car was flowing with the sounds of the tabla and sitar as everyone shook their heads and go with the flow. The was a heightened moment when the radio played the song(dunno the name of the song) which is also Kannan's(another Frontliner) favourite song. Experienced player Miss Sarah Ng... couldn't wait to reach Megan's place as she said... "Oh... I can't wait to DANCE later !!! "

As they reached Megan's house... everyone greeted the family... HAPPY DEEPAVALI !!!
The first impression that everyone has was that... Megan's house was very nice and clean. The interiors were very well done(everyone commented that his house was beautiful after they left).
They were first served with some good cookies and MURUKU(A must for Deepavali visits).

The Frontliners enjoyed first class hospitality from the family. For all of them except coach Jason and Kai Yann, it was their first time visiting indian friends on Deepavali. It was a good experience as everyone had to learn to use their hands to eat. Pei Li seems to be the one struggling with using her hands to eat. It is obvious that all of them weren't trained to eat with their hands. As they finished the food, everyone took their hands out and compare. It seems that Experienced Player, Miss Sarah Ng... has the most efficient technique of eating with her hands. Only her fingers got soaked in curry while her palm was clean.

Megan's mom is a good cook. The food was really delicious.

"If I close my mind I can go on eating and eating." declared Miss Sarah Ng.

She already had lunch before that. But it was finger licking good... that she eventually decided to close her mind... and continued eating and eating. Promising Youngster, Kai Yann ate at least 3-4 rounds of Nasi Briyanni. Everyone enjoyed the food plus the wonderful time of laughter.

As the Frontliners left the house, Coach Jason was still in a Deepavali mood(being the only person wearing indian dothi). He borrowed the DVD, " Sivaji " from Megan before they left.

"I'm a Rajinikanth(tamil movie superstar) fan" declared coach Jason.

Megan's mom couldn't help it but say... "no wonder you look like Rajinikanth. "

That was the Frontliners contingent visitation. Don't forget to keep yourself fit after the festive season. We will be getting ourselves rocking in training tomorrow. Happy Deepavali once again :)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Training Changed To Friday... awww man...

Trainings that are usually on Saturdays are now changed to Fridays, haiz.... Got no choice, a lot of weddings going on during year end. Why must everybody choose year end to marry, its not like they are still in school and need to wait until school holidays only get married, haiz... We went to the first ever Friday training, that is from 3-5 pm. There were a total of 8 FRONTLINERS there, oops, i mean 7 only excluding Rooban whom is from Innebandy. Training was going on as usual, we did all the usual warm-ups.Coach Jason called everyone to do the snakes. A lot of people made mistakes, most also not quite sure of the 'style' on how to shoot and aim properly.

After that, its time for PLAY BALL!! We've done some 2v2 match with the cones as goals (which is particularly hard to aim even at close range) in a very limited space. Man, it surely was cramp when the match started. Players started to bang each other (no space to run,what to do) to get the tiny ball and lot of passes and interceptions are made also. There was so many OUTS because the area to play is realy really small (seriously) and a lot of free hits were done. Some of the players who are quite annoyed, they continued to play-on even though the ball is out. Good choice though, can play more ^^. The teams are Jason-Pei Li, Kai Yan-Rooban, Sanjeevan-Megan, and last but not least Joshua-Yi Lin.

Now is the time to play the real full match. Sadly we got not enough players so the games were all either 3v3 or 4v4. At first it was 4v4 match, Coach Jason split us onto two groups which consists of ==Group1 (Jason, Pei Li, Joshua, Kai Yann)= =Group2 ( Megan, Sanjeevan, Yi Lin, Rooban) It all started quite well and everybody was playing their game the normal way. Players started to yell " Oi oi, ball!", "Gogogo, your men!!", "Mark him!!" and all sorts of phrases. The match was very tight as both teams tried very hard to score. Finally, our coach Jason scored the opening goal. It took a really long time because both teams had their defences very tight so there was not many chances to score. Everything went smoothly until one of the players (Yi Lin) got her leg cramped. Then, we played 3v3. So now one of the players can rest and substitude with one another. It ended with the score 2-2, 2 scores scored by our experienced coach Jason and on the other team Sanjeevan scored 1 and Megan another. Finally, the whistle was blowned and everybody was glad its over. All the players went to take some water and cooldown themselves.

Its so tiring after all the drills and matches are done especially when u have not attended floorbal for a few weeks... Ahem... After all the matches are over, we sat down together to share our opinions for the day. As everyone was ready to 'speak-out', a group of people started getting inside the court and play badminton. Haiz, bad timing. The coach got so irritated because of all the fuss and noise, he finally said " Aiya, go back la, its too noisy here, we'll do it next week lar". Everybody went home except for a few others which stay back to discuss some things with the coach. Thats practically all we've done during Friday.

F un!!
L ong stick
O riginal
O rientated
R eal Challenging
B est!!
A class sport
L ong-lasting
L ive a healthy life

Keep the Frontliners spirit burning!!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

LIN KEN saves the day from an airhook !!!

This is the video clip of one of the most exciting part of the Penang Floorball Scene. Taken from Penang Open Challenge 2007. Our most beloved perky-to-the-point-of-annoying attention grabber, KAO LIN KEN saves the day from an airhook by our Malaysian National Floorball Master, Sasi. Enjoy the clip.

*anything beyond 13 seconds is a waste of time, so don't have to stream beyond it.

P.S: As you can see we are currently upgrading our blog facilities. Please use them wisely. And we also value your feedbacks to make this blog a better experience. :) There will be more clips coming soon if everything goes well beyond this prototype stage.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Where is everybody???

Where is everybody??? Thats the first question in everybody's(aka all the four ppl's) mind that came for training on Saturday.

Training venue was change to the usual alternative outdoor basketball court due the the unavailability of the PBSM hall. However the more surprising story of the week was that only 4 attend the training, 2 being regulars (Kuan Yang and Sanjeevan) and 2 surprise attendance. Lets us welcome back Joshua Raj after 'chipsmoring' training for over 3 months from a severe motorcycle accident and a warm welcome for Choon Yang, adding Yi Lin - Choon Yang combo to a list of 'siblings-recruit' in Frontliners club after Joshua-Aaron Raj and Pei Li-June . A record we should be proud of.

Attendance was mauled by a series of incidents amongst the players like school replacements for Raya, which docked 5 names from the list and incoming exams such as SPM, plus some special occasions such as Coach Jason being away to attend his Graduation ceremony. Congratulations to him!!

Well, training was not training. No running laps, no snakes, no drills, no game and a lot of ball picking in wet mud to do!! Everybody was on their own taking shots and passes. Even the new boy make a few impressive shoots after some basic tips for Kuan Yang. Like sister like brother. Looks like we'll have another future star to groom after all.

Training quickly ended as the hot sun was rising to full force and it was a sad day for Frontliners training having recorded the lowest attendance ever. A record that hopefully would not be broken ever!

Even though all the absentees were due to genuine reasons, it kinda of a signal to all that all those year end bad spell is coming back to haunt us, obstructing Frontliner's progress as a club and players individually. Urging all Frontliner floorball freakz!! Do not let it happened. Let us get crazy again. Lets us be like Linken who flies back and forth, Penang to Nilai weekly to play in last years Penang League and I mean weekly; Lets be like Jason who drives all the way from mainland to coach you guys and be aware that petrol and toll is not cheap; and the latest crazy floorballer, Danush(hope i spelled your name correctly) who took the bus from KL just to play 2 hours of keeper at Dalat Saturday State Practise. Salute to all these crazy floorball freakz!!

Makan Floorball, Tidur Floorball, Hidup Floorball!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Still A Long Way To Go

Consistency is the key word. Sporadic at the most, Mr. Jason this week implored that the players keep their momentum.

"As any athlete knows, momentum is the most unstoppable force in sports. The only way to stop it is if you get in your own way, start making stupid mistakes or stop believing in yourself." Not exactly what he said (we people love to glamorize things), but surely what he meant.

Though expecting little, attendance surprised everyone this week with thirteen people coming for training including Christopher and Mervin from Minden Underdawgs.

After gaining some enlightening insight from the sports leadership camp he attended last week, Mr. Jason made sure to apply what he learned in training right from warm-up.

Snakes. Passes. Shots. Only one hour for drills, as Mr. Jason promised. Match time!

...Or not. He apparently has a different understanding of a 'drill' and a 'game'. Dividing the players into groups of two, the court was divided into three, and, in their teams, the players were supposed to play a 2v2 match, the goal being a miserable cone.

"This is to develop the Brazilian style of play... samba!"

Didn't happen. Which means that this drill should become more or less a permanent fixture in training until the players are able to play pretty. Ugh.

Making it three a team, he intoduced another brainwave. Two matches were to be played on the same court, diagonally, which meant collisions. Lots of collisions. Very interesting; very messy.

Then finally, finally, for the last half-hour, came match time. For the first time since August, it was a basic 5-on-5, suddenly making the court look very small. The two teams mostly cancelled each other out, though Mervin's stunner from half-court that caught Lin Ken out (!) was absolutely magic.

Nothing really extraordinary about training this week, but then again:

"Perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinary well."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

An Ode to Pain

Pain is when... you sprain your ankle three times in two years.
Pain is when... you get involved in a bike accident and have to go see a doctor.
Pain is when... you suddenly cramp up terribly during the most important floorball tournament of the year and have to miss the rest of it.
Pain is when... you grow old and cannot play like before.
Pain is when... not everyone remembers to congratulate you on your first goal in training.
Pain is when... no one recognizes you after you shave.
Pain is when... a ball hits you in the face and leaves an ugly cut above the eye, shattering your glasses in the process.
Pain is when... seeing your progress, you know you should've gotten your own stick a long time ago.
Pain is when... you wish you weren't the smallest person in the club.
Pain is when... you wake up late and realized you've missed yet another training.
Pain is when... you have to bring your Bio books for training to study.
Pain is when... everyone else seems better than you.
Pain is when... you don't know what to write for the weekly report.
Pain is when... training is cancelled.

See y'all next week:)

Sunday, October 7, 2007


(sigh) ...must this happen everytime after a tournament? (Actually a few months ago, no one would've noticed, but...) Attendance dropped. Takes some getting used to, after all the positive numbers in the last few trainings. A few months ago and the club would have given anything for eleven people, but now? Everyone wants more.

So did Kuan Yang. Demanding more from each player, the difference between Mr. Jason and him could obviously be seen: him being more personal, player to player, to Mr. Jason, who coaches all together in a group.

Mr. Jason made a very special (smirks) appearance before training started, urging the players to build on their experience from the just-finished Dalat League, then left to save the world, leaving the players to start their first drill: passing.

Balls flew and suddenly became alive, leaving the players dodging for safety, before Mr. Kuan Yang intervened, wearing a cape an' all, to fly the players to safety and move on to the next drill (a little exaggeration won't harm the soul). On and on, then finally to the last drill: two-on-two's.

The fun segment in training, no goals were scored, which proved either that: the attackers are plain lousy or that the defenders are totally terrific. More of a mix, really, as it turned out to be: there were some good plays, but poor finishing took some shine off.

So then came match time, and based on what happened last week, Kuan Yang made the decision to play 4v4's. A little disjointed, for the lack of a Center or an additional player from the basic 3v3 strangled team play, giving some sharpshooters rapturous joy and others compounded frustration. Other than some good passes between Kuan Yang and Kai Yann, it was mostly individual effort that determined the winner.

So now what? The club is facing an extremely barren spell for attendance for the oncoming weeks, seeing that nearly all the players are students and that final or major exams. are just around the corner, which might last until December when training takes a break before it resumes in January.

It is up to the players themselves whether they have the desire in them to continue to excel and work on their skills. Until the next training, Frontliners, press on!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Review: Dalat-World of Floorball Challenge 2007

Back row from left: Kai Yann, Aaron Raj, Steven Tay, Jason Chan, Kuan Yang, San Jeevan and Nareen.
Front row from left: Kannan, Sharron Tan, Yi Lin, Pei Li and Mekananth.

“Dalat League happened –period.” This suggestion by Miss Lee Wai Wai when this writer was despairing over finishing this report, is interesting, but rather short, so here you go –the highlights and lowlights, not only of Frontliners Floorball Club, but of everything (perhaps a little too widespread...) that went on from Saturday to Sunday.

Pool A: Contact Y
Minden Underdawgs 1
Subang Rascals
Dalat 2
Innebandy! Co.

Pool B: Dalat 1
Minden Underdawgs 2
Contact X

The better the improvement, the heavier the weight of expectations. Frontliners were no longer the underdogs (yeah, whatever) and were expected to offer some kind of resistance, which they did, though they have yet to overcome the curse of poor starts.

Having the advantage of starting late (4 pm!), the team faced Minden Underdawgs 2 and were arguably rather lacklustre against an ultra-defensive team. Bored defenders and frustrated attackers do not make a well-balanced team, with Sharron in goal merely lounging around. The goals eventually came –a good, long-range effort by SanJeevan and a ball turned in by Jason after a scramble in the box.

The one and only two-minutes timeout for Frontliners (applause encouraged) came from an unlikely source –Ms. Koay Yi Lin. A shot by Mekananth at goal hit her straight in the chest, and in panic she snatched at the ball and afterwards ran around in circles, totally bewildered. Quite harsh, the two minutes, it at least provided some amusement for the onlooking spectators. Still even harsher was the fact that Ms. Koay was overtaken by cramps (“screaming like a pregnant woman,” said she) and could not play for the rest of the evening.

Each player knowing full and well that there was much room for improvement, they lined up against Contact X, hoping that everything would go okay...

Which did not. Right from the start, Contact, as promised, threw everything they had at Frontliners. Overwhelmed and nearly overcome, Frontliners could only watch in disbelief as the team led by Edward tore apart their defences. In total disarray, Frontliners forgot about everything they had trained for and were lucky to escape only with a 0-3 loss.

The Coach stuck with the same team for the next game against Salibandy and the team performed much better, snuffing out the threat of Deswyn and keeping the game scoreless, thus knocking Salibandy out of contention for the semis. Later on Mr. Jason confided that he wasn’t that happy because “we weren’t playing floorball –we were just clearing the ball”.

A win by twelve goals over Dalat 1, no less, was needed to qualify for the semis –the stuff fairytales are made of (or not... even fairytales aren’t so unbelievable). Mr. Lin Ken, goalkeeper of Innebandy! Co. Promised to strip and play if Frontliners did win by twelve, though realistically, a loss by a minimum number of goals would be satisfying, and a draw would be terrific. A win, then, would be perfect.

With nothing to lose and everything to win, almost the whole court was rooting for Frontliners, and the team started strongly and pressured Dalat 1 from the start. Kuan Yang tested the keeper with a few crack shots before another shot sent the crowd wild. 1-0 to Frontliners.

Frontliners held out for a few nervy moments until half-time thanks to some wonderful saves by Sharon. Dalat, though, came back strongly and stormed into the lead after an unfortunate mistake at the back. Jason again sent the everyone wild (including the opposing keeper... but the less said about it, the better) with a neat goal after some slick teamwork, creating history, for it was for the first time that Frontliners did not lose to a Dalat team.

This was where the tournament ended for Frontliners Floorball Club, who have shown a marked improvement from their last outing in the Penang Open Challenge. Less goals conceded, more goals scored, less two-minutes penalised and more experienced gained. Not bad at all.

Now to stop being so self contained and to expand more on the tournament. Contact X and Subang Rascals provided the most entertaining game of the tournament, holding the Rascals to a draw valiantly after some magnificent work by Contact’s goalie which then went on to penalties. The Rascals triumphed over Contact X in penalties after Bryan’s goal was disallowed for pulling back and Edward’s lob went agonisingly wide. (A worthy footnote: Sasi’s penalty was saved.)

Dalat 1 and Innebandy! Co. battled it out for the rights to face Subang Rascals in the finals. Leading 1-0 after a freehit, Dalat were reduced to three players after two two-minutes, but still held out to advance to the finals.

In the 3rd-4th placing match, Contact X were always on top after Kenny’s goal, bar some opportunist shots by Daniel. Edward’s goal put the game beyond doubt and Contact had only to while the game away to claim third place.

Come the final, there was little doubt around the court that Subang Rascals would run away with the title. Dalat were a good team, but Subang had just too much in reserve to lose, and proved the point over again with an emphatic win, Sasi delighting the crowd with his skills and shots. Congratulations to all who took part, especially Minden Underdawgs 1(who managed to score a goal!) and 2 who did incredibly well. Of course (this being the club blog), Frontliners did incredibly well also. But...

...back to the drawing board, Frontliners, there’s still much work to do.

Preview: Dalat-World of Floorball Challenge 2007

*Writing this while the team of the tournament plays... what a joy. One look down at my notepad and I realize I’ve just missed another brilliant play by them. Ah, well... deadlines are deadlines.*
Well, it’s finally here. The players of Frontliners Floorball Club have slaved and slogged on in training just for this (okay, not really... but you admit this sounds more dramatic). A few months ago and everyone would have written them off as no-hopers, but the foundation has been laid, and the much-harped basics have been mastered. The players have graduated from kindergarten (astutely termed by the club’s beloved coach), and they are out to prove themselves worthy of the big time.
But first... tradition calls for a meeting at McDonald’s.
Dinner at McD’s before the big day. Not very appropriate, but who cares? Some of the players really need to pack in that few extra pounds... Anyway... Mr. Jason revealed the lines as shown:
GK- Sharron Tan

Line 1- Khor Kuan Yang (c)
Jason Chan Ming Hwee
Por Kai Yann
San Jeevan
Aaron Raj/Nareenthiran Formation: 2-1-2

Line 2- Steven Tay (c)
Goekula Kannan
Koay Yi Lin
Kew Pei Li Formation: 2-2-1

Line 1 being the attacking line and Line 2 the opposite, he then went on explaining about the opponents to be faced, as shown in order:

Minden Underdawgs 2
Contact X
Dalat 1
Subang Rascals(?)

All the way to the semis... that’s right, it’s the target he set for the team. Kuan Yang and Lin Ken then gave a lowdown on the teams that were to be played with, rating Subang Rascals as the top team (5*), Dalat 1 as the second best (4.5*), Contact X (3.5*), Salibandy and Frontliners (3*) and Minden Underdawgs being relatively unknown, at (2*).

To add extra incentive to reaching the semis, Mr. Jason invented a bonus system where, when every goal was scored, everyone earned RM0.10 (no kidding) which went back into the club’s pocket if a goal was conceded. Upon reaching the semis, RM2 (sounds a lot now, huh...) was promised with suicides the exact opposite. Asking the players to set personal goals for themselves, a mystery gift was promised as a reward. Final bonus being a meal (on him!) for every Man-of-the-Match voted by the team (knowing that some players had ginormous appetites, he did not say exactly where the meal was to be had).

“I don’t think anyone has ever thought of this before... I felt I needed to motivate the players more than just promising nasi kandar after the tournament.”

Will it work? Frontliners do have the talent to make the big time, but they are perhaps a little lacking in match experience (“Our vision, after all, is to train up the well-balanced student-athlete, not assemble a team of superstars.” Quote Mr. Jason). Over-reliance on their senior players is another problem –what if something goes wrong and Steven, Kuan Yang or Jason cannot play? Where will the leadership and motivation come from, if not from them? SanJeevan can maybe stand amongst them with his skills and consistency, but is questionably lacking in the charisma to carry the team, and the others are either too young or too inconsistent to qualify. Another question to ponder on.

Speed is an asset; mental strength is a bigger one. Mr. Jason stressed repeatedly on being strong and prepared mentally, for, clich├ęd as it sounds, to say that ‘your mind is your biggest opponent’ is quite right. A 1 Ringgit nasi kandar drink was promised if the players would not falter mentally, and that says a lot.

Frontliners start their world conquest two hours from now (...and I am no closer to finishing this). Training isn’t the same as the real thing, but that’s all one can do –to train as hard as possible and... pray?

Perhaps next time –this league is another stepping stone on the way up, and if the team learns and remembers (most important), they’ll be well on their way to conquering the world.

Monday, September 24, 2007

On Your Mark, Get Set... (wait for it)

Can the players get any readier for Dalat League (not implying they are ready... it's just a negative statement in positive light)? One week left now, to brush up on their skills and fitness before showtime.

This week in training Mr. Jason's drills were more on the physical side, coming back off perpetual comments of training being not 'tiring enough'. Yet thanks to the attendance (15 again), the players' lack of fitness (with exception to a few) was not really exposed. Training being cancelled last week, the players returned to the court, perhaps a little less fit and skills a little blunt.

Still, training got a fresh makeover with Mr. Jason reconstructing most of the drills to up the challenge levels. Starting out with... Snakes (duh), training went on and on and then to the last drill, being a new one: termed "(what was it? uh...) Fake War"... or something like that. Here the players would utilise the whole court; half a section being the 'waiting area' where the players did ball control, the other half being the 'pressure cooker' zone, something similar to Prison Break, one section being the passing zone and the other being the 'pass-sprint-sprint-receive the ball-shoot' zone.

The game started, and just like last training, the two entrances to the court were used as sub-areas. Play went on quite smoothly, SanJeevan and Kuan Yang providing a few moments of brilliance: one firing off some rocket shots into the goals (albeit keeperless, take nothing away from his skill) and the other waltzing past two players (Jason and Steven!) and effortlessly lifting the ball into the net.

Later on during team talk the players revealed what their goals were, and how this week's training felt. Most admitted it was more tiring than usual, though Pei Li commented that she could still play, to which Mr. Jason replied: "Then I haven't achieved my goal." Jokes aside, Mr. Jason was either in a very good mood during training or had made it a resolution to be nice.

Well! One can only hope and pray that the players are ready.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

GAS To Fuel The Flame

Training this week was less serious and more fun-based (an unusual occurence for Mr. Jason) which was surprising, considering that Dalat League is just the week after next. Perhaps Mr. Jason thought the players needed a break from his autocracy, and thus did not even scream at the players once.

There was one new face in the court this week, invited by Miss Tania Loke. Here the club officially welcomes Sonia Frances Gopal into Frontliners Floorball Club. Training started off with Snakes (obviously) and ended with... some weirdly named drill... something like galah panjang where a team of four players had to dribble past four lines with another four players guarding each line, turn around, get back through and shoot.

There were more laughs than serious plays as this drill apparently turned out to be based on survival of the fastest, for the slowest player got all the attention from the players guarding the lines. This drill showed how much the players have developed, some, as Mr. Jason says when danger comes "face it head-on" or "wait for the openings".

Then came the game, but it was slightly different, for Mr. Jason was looking to select the players for Dalat League. Divided into groups of three (mixed), the teams used the two entrances of the court for the allotted place for substitutions (albeit inevitably getting a bit cramped as everyone craned their necks in to watch), to simulate the real deal during tournaments and friendlies.

Later on during the team talk the one resounding observation that everyone had made was how Tania had improved in her game, being able to have fun on the ball and pass with vision. Which gets us back to the title. GAS (get a stick) To Fuel The Flame. Tremendous improvement was shown by Tania after borrowing a proper stick from the club only last week and practicing daily.

Only one more training left until Dalat league. Will the players be trailblazers, running high on fire and desire to excel?

Come for training and find out.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Frontliners Training 010907

This week in training the focus was shifted slightly from the basics Mr. Jason has been hankering about for week after week. The drills were slightly varied from the previous trainings, them being more focussed on shots and passes rather than ball control. There was no need for Mr. Jason to reemphasize his no-recoil policy as the players efficiently undertook the drills.

Attendance was encouraging(too much has been said about attendance these past weeks, so let's give it a break) with fourteen people coming for training.

The one new drill held was taken from basketball, as there were three stations for a player to run to, all at different angles in the shooting zone, receive the ball and shoot. It was good training for the senior(not to be equated with old) players, who were expected to receive the ball and shoot, all in one motion, and hit the target, while for the less experienced players, their first priority was to stop the ball properly.

Match time. Divided into groups of three and segregated by gender, the players gave quite a good account of themselves as they played rather solidly. Looks like all that hard work has paid off after all. The teams played without a goalie for a short while when Felicia bravely went for the ball at June's stick and got a little starry-eyed afterwards. Nothing too serious, but credit to Felicia for wanting to get back between the posts as soon as possible.

Only two more weeks until Dalat League begins. Are the players ready? By the looks of it, they are improving vastly under the coaching of Mr. Jason, but are they really ready for the real thing or will they be a disappointment?

Well, technically, there's not much to be disappointed about, seeing that Frontliners Floorball Club aren't really in the top rankings of clubs in Penang (okay, bottom, then) based on their recent performance in the Penang Open Challenge, but, hey, that was in May. It's September now. Three months of nothing but steady improvement.

Still, it's not for this writer to say; it's the players themselves who'll decide who stands and who falls.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Anatomy Of Woman, Man and Floorballer

Nothing too detailed, all you perverts. Nothing personal, all you male chauvinists. Nothing enlightening, all you brainy nerds. Merely a matter of no importance.

YEAH, RIGHT! It is a matter of utmost importance to all you floorballers to understand the human anatomy. Now, recite along: 'Eyes to see, nose to smell, tongue to talk (oh, okay, taste, then), legs to walk and hands to hold a floorball stick.' YES! Exactly-- not one but TWO hands. Those who reach this state of blessed enlightenment have the world at their floorball blades. Those who don't by next week will face Mr. Jason Chan's wrath (which, we all know, is no small thing).

Ha. There, now let's go down to the same, boring Details which are necessary to fill up space. Attendance was reassuring, seeing that the number of players had not decreased over the week (neither had it increased, but do let's be positive) as the club, again, welcomed back Miss Lee Wai Wai after a long period by the sidelines with an ankle injury.

Training started off with the ever-present Snake then progressed on to One-on-Ones and a couple of other unnamed drills (two, to be precise). With the players' energy levels still high, Mr. Jason started the 3-on-3s. San Jeevan's consistency caught a few eyes but it was again, Felicia who stole the limelight with some magnificent saves (to keep said person's feet on the ground, she still let in goals).

The most glaring habit that the players committed was the sin of one-handed control, as explained above, and, as Mr. Jason says:

"You hold your stick with one hand you give me push-ups with one hand!"

Monday, August 20, 2007

Develop Lovely Biceps At RM 4++

This week in training the price of absolutely stunning biceps has freefallen to a mere RM 4. Mr. Jason has gone totally berserk in dishing out 5 push-ups for every mistake. "You do this, you get biceps!" Grammatically incorrect, but logically sound. Add in perfect abs also, yet it really depends on how the players do it. Some do the real deal while certain others make it look more like breakdancing.

Not to sidetrack from the ever-improving attendance as seventeen people came for training this week as the club welcomed back Mr. Mekananth (missing for almost 3 months) and Mr. Lin Ken (also sorely missed since the last training), with the gentlemen outnumbering the ladies 2:1.

As Mr. Jason promised, training started off with Taekwondo Ball Control that included 5 push-ups for everytime a player lost the ball. Next came Snake and some other drills, also including the above principle. Last was a drill wonderfully titled 'Helicopter', which was rather similar to that of Prison break, but this time the players had to dribble round and round and round a cone first (don't understand, COME for training). Thank God Mr. Jason dropped his 5-push-ups-per-mistake for the game, or else... Arnie Schwarzenegger, anyone? It was a basic 3-on-3 game, ladies v ladies and guys v guys.

Here this paragraph is specially reserved for the club's new goalie, Ms. Felicia. Taking charge between the posts for the first time, she has already impressed Mr. Lin Ken with her fearless stand and competitive spirit. She performed commendably this week, notably saving some good shots, and best of all, she enjoys this new position.

Later during team talk the most prominent comment was that 'overall, the players had performed outstandingly this week and shown much improvement, give yourselves a hand.' Mr. Jason then got out the whiteboard and started to get all technical, explaining the vision of the club (well-rounded student-athlete) and what had stopped the players from developing ever since Youthwave.

But in the end, the focus of training is not on perfect biceps but on floorball (though admittedly, they would make a great addition). Mr. Jason cannot carry his vision alone and hope for it to succeed. The players must also do their part to help (and that means coming for training), though it is good for Mr. Jason to feel some weight every once in a while, because the club is not about one man. It is about one team. One vision. One heart.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Steady on, Frontliners...

Sixteen. Hmmm... what comes up when you think of it? Nothing earth-shattering, other than freedom on the road for those independence-crazy teens, really, is it? But it is. The best ever for Frontliners Floorball Club ever since... April, believe it or not. What's this all about?

The all-important attendance.

Sixteen people came on Saturday, including Mr. Lin Ken, the 'perky-to-the-point-of-annoying' likeable attention grabber. Familiar faces were there also, best being the love-me-or-hate-me face of Mr. Jason Chan. The court was repopulated once again.

Training started with taekwondo style ball-control where Mr. Jason had the players stand in rows of four and do some basic ball control. Then came the double snake where he insisted there be 'vision' and no recoils. After that there was 'Prison break', then finally 2-on-1s. Throughout the whole drills session Mr. Jason appeared to be hearing impaired as he screamed for the players to respond louder to his words and brought the much-missed noise back to the court.

Drills being over, the players were divided into teams and the games started. For the gentlemen, it was proved that teamwork triumphed over individual skill as the team containing Jason and Kuan Yang lost by a whopping five goal margin to Steven's team. For the girls, however, there was really nothing much to say except that Ms. Koay added to her total goal tally with another brace of goals.

After training Mr. Jason called the team together and urged them to keep up the spirit though Mr. Lin Ken be away, and told them to look up to Kuan Yang and Lin Ken as role models in floorball. Not forgetting to mention that he awarded the title of 'Most improved since last week' to Pei Li, from her performances in the drills and the game. For once in her life she blushed (as Mr. Lin Ken claims, though really, this writer disputes that) when the players applauded.

It is an encouragement to see that the players are back in numbers. It is a step by step improvement with them showing no signs of slowing down. Not much longer until the Frontliners attain the position of top ranked team in Penang? Well...

Let's focus on attendance for next week's training first.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Quiet in the court!!!

Ssshhhh! The players need to practice! Huh? It's not a library, but that's what it seemed like during training this week. Other than some startling screams from Ms. Koay Yi Lin, the court was deafeningly silent.

Which was a little surprising, considering the attendance. Twelve people came for training, including Rooban from Innebandy! Co and someone new (Frontliners Floorball Club wants to officially welcome Parthiban to the club). Several faces were missing, including Mr. Jason.... Perhaps that's why training was as mentioned. His inspiration and weighty presence were sorely missed.

Training started with passing and some other basic drills, but even for the basic ones (let's not think about the more advanced ones) the players were already soullessly silent. Strolling from station to station and playing spiritless balls that a slight breeze would stop, anyone would not be guilty in thinking that a bunch of respectable centurions would do better.

Kuan Yang finally called for game time. Assigning the players to groups of three, Ms. Koay again turned up to be the top scorer, beating her previous record of three. Without doubt she was the best ladies player on the court, running tirelessly to pursue every ball and adding some sound effects to her actions. Felicia, who joined the club just for almost a month, deserves special mention as she has shown tremendous improvement since the last training.

After the game the players heaved a sigh of relief, but apparently Kuan Yang had something more. Ordering everyone to stand in a line, he waited patiently for the players to realize he wanted a horizontal line, then told them to run. After only one killer he ordered them to stop as anyone could see they were dead tired.

After training, newcomer Parthiban, on asked how he found floorball: "It is fun... fun," and agreed to come for more trainings.

End word? The court is NOT a library (not to put any negative impression, books are good for you), so buck up, you who call yourselves Frontliners!

Monday, July 30, 2007

YOU are wanted: Dead or alive (though preferably the latter...)

Frontliners training! ...was okay. Not great or terrible, just okay (okay is good, just in case it sounds negative). The skyrocketing attendance came a little bit back down to earth with an average attendance of eight.

All the more for those who missed out on training this week to feel a little unhappy because Mr. Jason had injected something new into training. He had mentioned it the week before but, seeing that school holds a higher priority than floorball (to parents or their children?) the higher attendance expected did not materialize.

That something new? Technology. Ooh... bet you felt shivers run down your spine and your blood turn cold when this word was mentioned. Yeah, right, though Mr. Jason seemed to think it did. Must be because he came up with it.

The technology turned out to be Mr. Jason bringing along a laptop. On it he showed a slide show. About floorball. Wow. Pretty awe-inspiring, huh? Enough about that. Let's get back to the real, hard stuff.

Training was held as usual and as expected, with the basic drills being done and also some other new ones, which for this week, were fakes. The players learnt how to execute a fake(obviously) on the court, which, really, was interesting. No kidding.

And again as usual came the time when the drills were ended(thank God) and when the players conveniently forgot everything they had learnt and just had lots of fun on the court: Match time.
On the assignment given by Mr. Jason last week, the ones with the best record were Steven and Pei Li, with four times a week for each of them. Mr. Jason refused to comment on this week's assignment, saying there was no point saying it, as there were too few people in training.
Therefore(no, that's way too formal... nevermind, sticking with it), calling all Frontliners! The club needs YOU.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Three cheers (though I never get why three) for the attendance this week.

Promising. That, supposedly, is the most positive word that can be used to describe the growth of the club as the numbers slowly increase again.

After a dismal month of an average of seven/eight people per training, attendance on Saturday nearly touched the sky as thirteen people came. Hurrah.

Still, training was not hampered by the surprising number of people (there was a new face, Felicia from MGS) and Mr. Jason divided the team into two groups: one being for the newbies which "JediMaster" (as follows Mr. Jason) Kuan Yang took, and another being for... those considerably experienced (say two years, except for Sarah Ng who can be considered very mature in floorball, and... definitely NOT oldies, just to note) taken by Mr. Jason himself.

Kuan Yang made his charges do basic drills like ball control while Mr. Jason set his drill level at 'gear 5' and insisted no 'recoiling' when having the ball.

The players made a considerable effort, though it was rather disturbing. Meaning the look on Mr. Jason's face when he was looking at what he called the 'optimum space' where he could see both the ball and the space above.

Then later the two groups joined to do other drills, one of them being the 'landmine' drill where... yeah, landmine. As in it took the same form of the 'four corners of the world' drill, but the obstacles were considerably much more, and the penalty for knocking down one of them was five pushups.

The ladies were then divided into two groups, same for the guys, and it was GAME ON!
Apparently, it was the first time the ladies scored more than the guys (thanks to Koay Yi Lin, who scored all three and attributed them to being 'lucky').

And then came the debriefing. Mr. Jason introduced a system very similar to what the players call 'homework', wanting them to practice a certain thing he gives the whole week and recording it in a book.

Well... as he says... "You want to be a professional player, you must train like one!" There you go.