KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) will kick off on Sept 21 and end by Nov 4. The Malaysia Hockey Confederation (MHC) are not expected to make any major changes to the format this year although there are plans for a complete revamp in 2013.
This year’s MHL is likely to see some clashes with the national team’s programmes. Both the Project 2013 and the senior team have assignments in November and will not have the luxury of a centralised training stint as the players will be released to the clubs for the MHL.
MHC secretary-general Johari Abdul Aziz said that they are aware there could be some issues once the national team’s programmes are drawn up.
“For now, we have no plans to change the dates for the MHL. The senior team’s programmes are not drawn up yet. But we will need to discuss this further once they are in place,” he said.
The senior team will play in the FIH Champions Challenge I from Nov 24-Dec 4 in Argentina. The Project 2013 squad have the Sultan of Johor Cup from Nov 8-18.
Centralised training for both the teams can only start after Hari Raya which is in late August. But the players also have the Razak Cup in Kuantan from Sept 1-9 which is a state-based tournament. After that, they will play for the clubs in the MHL.
That leaves them with little or no time for training with the respective national teams.
Johari said they may have to look at alternatives but for the moment they need to get the senior team coach appointed first.
He agreed that for the Project side to prepare themselves, one way to ensure they get to train together is to play them as a team in the MHL.
“That is an option as it will benefit the team in their preparation for the Sultan of Johor Cup.
“But that would also pose some problems for teams which have the bulk of the junior players in their ranks. The matter has to be discussed and the proposal put forward to the MHC executive board for a decision.
“It is just an option at this stage,” he said.