Penang fielding youngsters for National Women’s Hockey League

KUALA LUMPUR: The Penang State Hockey Association (PSHA) and the Penang State Sports Council (MSSPP) are focusing on improving the women’s hockey standard in the state and hence have entered a team for the National Women’s Hockey League, which begins on Jan 10.

Most of the players are from the Mutiara Impian Secondary School with an average age of 17.

The team are made up of six Form three students and four each from Form Four and Form Five. Six more are waiting for their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results.

The team will be led by national forward Nurmaizatul Hanim Syafi Sheik Fuad, who featured in the Asia Champions Trophy in Donghae, South Korea, in June.

Penang coach Leo Vincey said they have entered a team in the women’s league to gain exposure and experience.

“We have a young team with all local players. We want them to compete against stronger teams to improve their game.

“We want to build a strong team for the future and to achieve that our girls need to play against seniors and also against foreign players,” said Leo, who has been a coach for the last 15 years.

The Penang team started their training after featuring in the Pesta Penang tournament recently.

Seven teams will feature in the women’s league and the matches will be played on home and away format.

Leo added that despite his team’s lack of exposure in playing in the national women’s league, he still believes that his players can give a fight to the other six teams in the league.

“I will be more than happy if our team can win one or two matches and draw a few,” said Leo.

The other teams in the fray are league champions PKS Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten), overall champions Blue Warriors, Teren­gganu Ladies team, KL Wipers, Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) and China’s Liaoning Infinite Space Hockey Club.

PSHA-MSSPP will start their campaign against PKS Uniten at National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Jan 10.

This is the second season Penang are competing in the women’s league. Last season, Penang Juniors finished last with one win, two draws and nine defeats.

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