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Sunday January 5, 2014 MYT 7:19:00 PM
Sunday January 5, 2014 MYT 8:20:55 PM
by s. ramaguru
A Malacca High School player (right) jostling for the ball with BJSS player in a junior hockey game in 2012. - MHS emerged as Div 2 runner up in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League that year. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: After three years of moulding the team, Malacca High School (MHS) are ready to challenge the big guns in Division One of the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysia Junior Hockey League (MJHL) this season.
MHS coach K. Manogaran said they had kept most of the players together since 2010 so they have an experienced side to mount a strong challenge this year.
“Seven of the players are 18 while another seven are 17-year-olds. Another four are between 15 and 16. We are not only talking about exposing the players but about doing well this season,” said Manogaran.
“The players have had the experience playing in the MJHL, the National Under-21 Championships and other age-group tournaments over the years. We do not have any specific target other than to improve with each game and challenge the title contenders,” he added.
MHS have also included three players who are studying in different schools in Malacca. They are Mohamed Aidil Azmi (SMK St David), Mohamed Zairie Mohd Nizam (SMK St Francis Institute) and Amir Wafiq Aizari Kamaruddin (SMK Selandar).
“The three players are talented and joined the daily training despite studying in other schools. They will fit in as they are familiar with our players,” said Manogaran.
MHS’ best-ever finish in the MJHL was runners-up to Sapura in Division Two in 2012.
They are optimistic that they have what it takes to make the cut for the quarter-finals again. Last year, they reached the last eight before
losing to Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).
Manogaran said the draw also favoured his side as four of their six matches will be played at home.
They start off with a home tie against Anderson-Perak SEDC on Jan 11 followed by two away matches against Kuala Lumpur Sports School (KLSS) Juniors and Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) the following weekend.
They complete the preliminary round at home with games against UniKL, SSTMI Juniors and SSTMI-Thunderbolt.
“We must target at least nine points in our four home matches in order to have a chance to make the top four in the standings and qualify for the knockout stage.
“We have to collect some points from our away matches as well. It will be a tough competition and I believe SSTMI-Thunderbolt will be the team to beat in the battle for the title.”
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