KUALA LUMPUR: They may have lost their opening match but former champions Tenaga Nasional are happy that their players showed plenty of promise.
Tenaga lost 5-3 to Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in the opening Premier Division tie at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday.
Tenaga assistant team manager Adam Izamy Idrus described his players’ performance in the first two quarters of the match as “good and very encouraging”.
“What was lacking was consistency and staying power. KLHC took their chances and played well as a unit. The mistakes we made could have been avoided ... that’s something we will look at,” he said.
Tenaga and Maybank are the only teams to have played in all editions of the MHL since its inception in 1987.
Tenaga have won 12 titles and always managed to get into the top-two positions in recent years.
Adam is confident that his men will be able to re-group and put their challenge back on track in the second match.
They play favourites Terengganu on Sunday hoping to salvage at least a point.
“Yes, it is yet another tough match. Terengganu have the best of the national players and their foreign players (South Koreans) are all very experienced as well,” said Adam.
“But then this year every team have improved their ranks with new players and I’m sure every match will be tough.”
Tenaga clearly missed two of their more influential players – Fitri Saari and Mohd Firhan Azhaari, who have joined the east coast side.
“Yes, they gave us extra bite up front last year. We finished runners-up in the league and in the fight for the overall title. Whether we can find able replacements is a big question,” said Adam.
Tenaga have always relied on home-grown players and it is no different this year. In fact, they are the only team comprising local talent.
Tenaga are coached by former international Nor Saiful Zaini, who is assisted by Nor Azlan Bakar.
Did you find this article insightful?