Thursday, 6 February 2014 | MYT 5:20 PM
Hockey: Bad state of turf no stumbling block for Olak team
The Olak-PKT players struggle to train on the old and worn-out turf at the Pandamaran Hockey Stadium in Klang.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Pandamaran Hockey Stadium in Klang is in a deplorable state.
The turf is so worn-out and torn that it cannot be used for any tournaments, let alone for training.
Yet, the Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak)-PKT continue to train there every day.
Not by choice but because there isn’t any other turf available in Klang.
Despite the lack of a proper turf to train on, Olak-PKT have proven to be the team to beat in Group B of Division Two in the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL).
Olak, the former Division One league and overall champions, lead Group B standings with maximum points from five matches.
They have scored a whopping 26 goals and conceded only four in five matches.
They have two more matches left to play – against MPS Pahang Juniors on Sunday in Kuantan and Padang Midin of Terengganu at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium on Feb 15.
Olak-PKT team manager Joseph De Silva said that the Pandamaran Hockey Stadium has become an eyesore.
“The turf is in a bad condition ... it’s torn everywhere and it is dangerous because it’s slippery and players might get injured,” he said.
“The turf was infected with fungus and I had to use my own money to wash the turf,” said Joseph.
“Despite the awful state of the turf, we have to train there because there is no other turf available for us to train at in Klang ... or Selangor for that matter.
“We have complained to the Klang Municipal Council about the condition of the turf several times but nothing has been done to lay a new turf.
“But I want to praise my players for playing exceptionally well to lead Group B despite training in such deplorable conditions.
“We have to play our home matches at the KL Hockey Stadium in Lembah Pantai ... we are confident of winning our remaining two matches to qualify for the playoff for the knockout stage and also gain promotion to Division One next year.”
The top four teams from Division One and top four from Division Two will feature in the knockout stage.