KUALA LUMPUR: The first four matches are likely to define Anderson’s season in the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysia Junior Hockey League (MJHL).
The Perak outfit will travel south to take on Malacca High School in their first Division One match on Saturday before facing a tricky tie against Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) here on Sunday.
Then next week, Anderson will be up against the two sports schools – SSTMI-Thunderbolt and SSTMI Juniors - in Ipoh.
“Actually, our title chances will be made clear by this weekend,” said Anderson coach Mohd Nizam Mohd Badrul.
“These two – Malacca High School and MBPJ – are tough teams. But we have to get past them to make sure we stay in the title mix.”
Nizam admitted that playing the two sports school would be a tricky affair.
“In fact, it was our matches against them that cost us in the title run-in last year,” he said.
“We had beaten SSTMI-Thunderbolt 1-0 and were eyeing a clear run for the league title. Then, we came up against SSTMI Juniors and were well beaten. SSTMI-Thunderbolt then recovered to lift the league title again.
“That was a big disappointment for us. We must learn from that defeat and make sure we do not falter again. I believe that since we have been together for three years, the team will be more matured and able to play much better.”
Anderson will play their fifth match on Jan 25 against KLSS-KLHC and then have a three-week break before their final Division One fixture against Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) on Feb 16.
Nizam resisted taking a dig at the poor scheduling but said that they would use the three-week break to prepare for the knockout stage “as we are eyeing a top-four finish”.
“Only the top four teams will make the cut for the knockout stage and we hope to be one of the teams,” said Nizam.