KUALA LUMPUR: The smiles are back on KL Hockey Club (KLHC) after having knocked in 12 goals to chalk up two wins over the weekend in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
The defending league champions, who started off badly with a 0-2 defeat by Tenaga Nasional on Dec 17, scored thumping 6-2 and 6-3 victories over big guns Sapura and Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) respectively to put their title ambitions back on track.
KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj said that the two wins had brought back confidence in the players.
“The defeat by Tenaga on the opening day was a demoralising one. It was compounded by the failure to get even a goal,” he said.
“Now that has been laid to rest with 12 goals in two matches against big teams. Eight of the goals were from field attempts and it augurs well for our forwards. We can’t be depending on penalty corners alone for the goals,” he said yesterday. The two wins took KLHC to second spot in the standings on better goal difference over Nur Insafi and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).
Tenaga Nasional have seven points after three matches and hold a one-point advantage at the top of the table.
KLHC will have matches this weekend against ATM-Airod and Nur Insafi.
“The league this season will certainly be the most interesting one in recent years,” said Dharmaraj.
“There are more than two teams who can lay claim to the title. The recruitment of more foreign players has bridged the gap among teams and we will see more competitive games.”
KLHC do not have foreign stars in their ranks but they have the majority of the national players.
There is experience in all the departments and the good performances from players like Chua Boon Huat, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (pic), Ismail Abu and the penalty corner prowess of Mohamed Razie Rahim have cheered up the team.
“We are seeing some good showings by the players and now we need to see them come up with consistency in their game,” said Dharmaraj.
“We are not going to underestimate any team and we will aim to get at least a point in each match.”
KLHC have a reputation of starting strongly and finishing tamely. And Dharmaraj does not want it to happen again. He wants to see the team grow in strength with each match.
“We started off with a defeat. We have bounced back and hopefully we will keep up the momentum,” he said.