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Friday December 27, 2013 MYT 10:35:00 PM
Friday December 27, 2013 MYT 11:06:08 PM
by aftar singh
SSTMI-Thunderbolt are the defending champions of the MHC-Milo-Junior Hockey League. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt of Johor have played down their chances of bagging their fourth consecutive double in the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL).
Their coach Wan Roslan Wan Abdul Rahman said although they have retained 13 players from the victorious squad, it would be tough for them to retain the league and overall titles in the Under-19 league.
“Arch-rivals UniKL (Universiti Kuala Lumpur), who finished as runners-up in the last three years have beefed up their squad and will be the team to beat.
“They have roped in midfielder Mohd Azwar (Abdul Rahman), who was in the initial national junior team before he was dropped from the Junior World Cup,” said Wan Roslan.
SSTMI-Thunderbolt edged UniKL 1-0 in the final for the Milo Cup in March with Mohd Shahril Saabah scoring the winning goal off a penalty corner.
Shahril, who featured in the Junior World Cup in New Delhi recently, will not be eligible to play as he has turned 20.
Wan Roslan said their training have been affected because their turf in Bandar Penawar is currently under renovation and would only be ready by end of next year.
“We have to train at Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru and it takes us one hour to travel from Bandar Penawar to the venue.
“We will be more than happy if we can win at least one of the titles in the MJHL,” added Wan Roslan, who has been coaching the sports school since 2002.
A record of 31 teams will feature in the MJHL next month and Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competition committee will have a meeting on Saturday in Bukit Jalil to decide on the format and the teams who will compete in Division One and Division Two.
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