KUALA LUMPUR: The national team’s 2014 programme will be given priority as the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee will work the domestic calendar to suit the team’s needs.
The decision was made by the MHC competitions committee at their recent meeting in Kuantan after a briefing by national coach Paul Revington. Competitions committee chairman M. Gobinathan said that they will give priority to the programme drawn up by the national team as they have at least five major international assignments next year.
“We will ensure that the domestic programme does not disrupt or interfere with their programme. The committee has agreed with Revington that the national team’s needs should be given priority and he was also good enough to suggest some changes to our calendar which will fit into his plans,” said Gobinathan.
The five major tournaments on the national team’s programme next year are the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (March), Champions Challenge I (April), World Cup (May-June), Commonwealth Games (July-August) and the Asian Games (September).
The MHC tournaments for 2014 remain unchanged - the Malaysia Junior Hockey League, Malaysia Hockey League, Under-21 (Sukma), Under-16, Under-14 and the Razak Cup.
Gobinathan said that since there are no national players involved in the MJHL, the tournament will start in January and end in March.
“The MHL (senior league) will be broken up and held over two periods. The Division One will be held in early March while the Premier League will be in October.
“As far as we know there are no national players in Division One and it will not affect the national team’s programme,” he said.
Gobinathan said that based on Revington’s suggestion the Razak Cup has been fixed for Aug 14-24. He said the venue will be decided later once the states have made a bid for it. The Razak Cup for the last three years has been held in Kuantan.
“We will draw up the dates and then have the MHC council endorse it. We will continue to talk to the national coach from time to time to see if there are any issues to look into.
“But based on the discussion we had recently the national programme and the domestic calendar can take off without a hitch and there will be no reason to alter any of the dates that have been agreed on,” he added.
The tournaments that have not been completed this year are the Under-14 and Under-21 meets.
The Under-14 will be held in Terengganu in November while Seremban will host the Under-21 in December.