KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Kuala Lumpur created history last year when they retained the National Under-16 hockey title without conceding a single goal in eight matches.
KL start as favourites again this year in the tournament, which begins in Kedah today, and coach S. Selvaraju has just one simple target – to win the title for the sixth time in a row.
“It will be tough repeating last year’s feat and go without conceding a goal. Teams like Perak, Malacca and Penang have improved a lot and are quite capable of scoring against us,” said the former international.
Selvaraju said his boys are well-prepared as they have been playing in the Division Four of the KL League.
“The team qualified for the semi-finals in Division Four by chalking up seven wins and a draw,” said the coach.
“They are a solid bunch as I have retained 10 players from last year. We also have the services of two national Under-16 players in Misniwan Husni and Nor Syafiq Sumantri.”
KL, who trounced Malacca 6-0 in the final last year, are drawn in Group B with Kelantan, Terengganu, Selangor, Pahang and Johor. They open their campaign against Terengganu today.
Group B comprises Malacca, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Penang, Perlis and hosts Kedah.
Milo have contributed RM35,000 in cash and kind for the tournament, which is being played in Sungei Petani and Alor Setar.