KUALA LUMPUR: Response for the inaugural Malaysian Junior Women’s Hockey League has been overwhelming.
A total of 14 teams had signed up when entries closed on Friday.
Eleven of the states are represented in the league. Only teams from Perlis, Malacca and Sarawak are missing from the list.
The Under-19 league is set to start on Feb 19 and this is the first time that the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHF) are organising a league for girls.
Sabah, who have made great strides with their junior development programmes, have signed up and are expected to start as favourites.
They have decided to make Kota Kinabalu their home venue. This means some teams will have to travel for their away matches.
MHC competitions committee chairman George Koshy said they would look into subsidising the teams’ travel to Sabah for their matches.
Besides the Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI), the other sports schools who have signed up are SMK Za’ba of Kuala Pilah, Negri Sembilan; and SMK Tun Hussein Onn of Johor.
MHC competitions committee chairman George Koshy is pleased with the good response.
“It’s a good mix of teams from all over the country. We hope there will be quality among the teams and the good response augurs well for the development of the women’s game,” he said.
“For now, we are likely to divide the teams into two groups of seven each, with the top four teams from each group advancing to the quarter-finals.
“We will hold a team managers’ meeting on Feb 13 to finalise all the details.”
THE 14 TEAMS
Kuala Lumpur Wipers, Sekolah Sukan SMK Za’ba Kuala Pilah, Sekolah Sukan SMK Tun Hussein Onn, SSTMI-Thunderbolt, Penang Juniors, MSNT-SMK Padang Midin, Johor, MSN Kedah, SMK GR Highlander (Gunong Rapat), Selangor Girls, Sekolah Sukan Malaysia Sabah, UniKL Ladies, SMK Sultan Ibrahim 1, YP-MSP-PHP.