Mohamad Syafidzul Naim Badrul (right) of Anderson and Muhamad Haikal Zamri of UniKL during a Malaysian Junior Hockey League match last year. It is learnt that UniKL is to be the vehicle to play the Project 2016 players as a team in the MHL.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Project 2016 team management was told to mind their own business and not act as selectors for club sides in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak)-PKT team manager Joseph De Silva said on Friday that a few of his players have been told to sign up for UniKL in Division One of the MHL which starts on March 14.
“I was told by the Project 2016 coach (A. Arulselvaraj) that these players have to play for UniKL. He said these players have been earmarked for the Project team and that they will be required to play for UniKL.
“Now, my question is, why is the Project coach forcing players to play for a certain club?
“We were told that the players can play for any team and the only condition set, as far as I know, is that they have to be released for three days to attend national training.
“Now, is the Project coach also the coach of the UniKL team?” asked Joseph.
The Olak manager is furious that the coaches and officials from the national set-up are interfering with club matters.
He said the hockey fraternity is aware that the Project 2016 team manager Mirnawan Nawawi and Arulselvaraj are also on the UniKL payroll as part of their panel of coaches.
“Don’t tell me that this is not a conflict of interest. Olak are not playing in the MHL but then we have agreed to allow the players to play for certain other teams.
“We brought in players from Sabah for the MJHL and we have invested in them. Now, another club wants to pinch the players just because the juniors’ coach is with them.
“It is high time the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) and the competitions committee woke up to what is happening and not allow these few officials to destroy the game.
“We have nothing against UniKL. They have the financial resources to match their ambition but then don’t simply use such tactics to get good players from other teams,” he said.
The Division One of the MHL is being held early this year and teams from the Premier Division like UniKL, Sapura and Tenaga Nasional are using it to groom their fringe players.
The Project 2016 team were initially interested in playing in Division One but the MHC shot down the proposal and allowed the junior players to play for any club they chose.
It is learnt that the plan is to use UniKL as the vehicle to play the Project players as a team in the MHL.