LOCAL hockey fans are in for a rare treat as Penang Sports Club (PSC) has succeeded in luring the greats of yesteryear to the island.
With their hockey section all set to host the 21st edition of the PSC International Hockey Fest, they will not only parade teams from three countries but will bring forth former greats in the likes of renowned national striker Datuk Poon Fook Loke.
The 66-year-old former RHB Bank vice-president is said to be still actively playing veterans hockey and will be heading to Penang for the annual showdown with Royal Selangor Club.
Best remembered for his heroics in the Malaysian national team with his lethal strikes against kingpin India in 1975, Poon has been confirmed as one of at least 10 former national greats who will be in action at the Penang Sports Club greens tomorrow.
Inderjit (third from right) receiving the challenge trophy from Penang Sports Club (PSC) hockey captain Kuldip (centre, in shorts) for the 21st International Hockey Fest. With them are PSC organising committee members.
Other former national players who will also be in Penang to spice up the annual showdown of 20 teams are Sarjit Singh, Maninderjit Singh and Mahinder Singh (All of Wild Hogs) of Negri Sembilan.
Even James Murthi and M. Mahendran from Johor’s LA Hockey Club are said to be joining the fray.
Host team PSC, not to be outdone, are also set to parade a galaxy of stars. Led by their hockey captain Kuldip Singh, who himself is a former national ace, they will be powered by Atul Kumar and nippy striker Hacharanjit Singh.
Organising chairman Inderjit Singh said the presence of two foreign teams from Singapore and one each from Indonesia and Australia should provide the game’s 21st edition with additional glamour.
“Our foreign colleagues from the three nations have confirmed that they will be here.
“Australia will be represented by Perth Pirates while Indonesia confirmed that the Inter Cultural Sports Clubs will be their representative. Singapore will field their Singapore Airlines and Hockey Masters teams,” added Inderjit.
He said all the 20 teams, divided into four groups of five teams, would see action from start to finish. The top two teams in each group will stay on course for the glittering trophy by making the quarter-finals while the third and fourth teams from each group will feature in the plate challenge.
“Even the four basement teams will continue to see action as well, playing in the bowl category.
“I am also delighted that teams from Johor, Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur, Perak and Penang responded positively to our invitations,” Inderjit said.
The bulk of the teams are seven from Kuala Lumpur. They are Club Aman, Pukolan Veterans, MUGS, Liquorice All Sorts, Prodigy Social, MIC United and Royal Selangor Club.
The other teams are Wild Hogs (Negri Sembilan), LA Hockey Club (Johor), Club 30-50 and Ipoh Lads (Perak).
On the home front, PSC will field two teams, Spyders and Scorpions, while Old Frees Association and the Prince of Wales Isle Xokie Club will be Penang’s main flag bearers.