KUALA LUMPUR: Johor Sports Council (JSC) will move up to play in Division One of the Malaysia Junior Hockey League (MJHL), which begins on Feb 8.
The Johor side, who finished 13th last year, replace Serdang Hockey Club, who withdrew last week after having confirmed their entry on Jan 8.
Serdang are the second team from last year's MJHL who are out of the competition this year. Ipoh City Hall chose not to play and it gave 12th place Sri Aroma-PISC (formerly Seberang Perai MC) a place in the 10-team Division One.
The MJHL takes a two-tier format this year and the other 12 teams will feature in Division Two. The top six in the top division and the top two in Division Two will qualify for the quarter-finals.
The other teams in Division One are defending overall champions Telekom Pahang, Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia Sports School, MPPJ, Anderson-Canterbury, Terengganu Schools Sports Council, Olak-Klang MC and Yayasan Negri Sembilan.
The withdrawal by Serdang after having confirmed their entry will cost the club RM500.
The MHF secretary, S. Satgunam, said that Serdang would have to pay up the fine, failing which they would be barred from future competitions.
The MHF will hold a draw for the opening matches today at the NSC in Bukit Jalil and also hold a briefing for team managers. The remaining fixtures will be made up after the draw.