KUALA LUMPUR: Defending overall champions Telekom Pahang will open their campaign in Division One of the MHF-Milo-NSC-Admiral Junior Hockey League on Feb 8 against Sri Aroma-PISC.
Telekom won the title in their debut season in the league while Sri Aroma-PISC finished 12th.
The draw for the opening matches were made yesterday at the National Sports Council Complex in Bukit Jalil.
At the function, Division Two’s Malacca MC asked for an open draw for the quarter-final match-ups. The competition rules have the top two finishers in Division Two pitted against the top two in Division One.
Malacca MC are the favourites to win Division Two and they felt that an open draw would give the Division Two sides a better chance of advancing in the knockout stage.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) secretary, S. Satgunam, explained that the draw was made in accordance to standard procedures and that it was practised by them in all competitions.
“There was nothing unfair in it. But we allowed the teams to take a vote (on whether they wanted an open draw or fixed draw) after Malacca MC raised the matter. But all the others remained silent,” said Satgunam.
Malacca MC coach Eugene Lee was unhappy with the other teams for not supporting their call for an open draw.
“The MHF gave us the chance to amend the draw and I felt that all the Division Two teams should have taken up the offer.
“But all of them seemed happy with the fixed draw,” he said.
The league action begins on Feb 7 with five matches in Division Two.
Satgunam said that there would be six matches in Division One and nine in Division Two each weekend.