Wednesday October 3, 2012
Maybank seeking revenge over KLHC
By ASHREENA PILLAI
KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank have a mountain to climb when they face KL Hockey Club (KLHC) in the Premier Division semi-finals, first-leg tie tomorrow.
Maybank have been on the losing end against KLHC in the last two years. And everything points to a similar outcome.
But Maybank coach Wallace Tan begs to differ, saying “the semis is a fresh start for my team and we plan to be the winning side”.
“We don’t want to look back ... this is a new game. When you face a team of KLHC’s calibre, you have to look at everything and that’s what we’ve been doing in training,” said Wallace.
“You can’t just say you want to work on the attack or defence ... you have to consider everything. So we’re working hard on every aspect of our game.”
In the league Maybank lost 4-1 and 6-1 to eventual champions KLHC.
Maybank have strengthened their team this year with the inclusion of three Pakistani players – Mohamed Waqas, Mohamed Irfan and Shakeel Abbasi.
With national forward Hafifihafiz Hanafi leading the attack, Wallace feels they have the firepower to upset KLHC.
“In last year’s semis, we lost to KLHC, who were obviously the better team. This year, we have Hafifihafiz, Irfan, Shakeel and Waqas and can take the fight to them,” he said.
Maybank used to be a powerhouse in the 90s, winning five Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) titles. They won the overall title three times (1988, 1990 and 1994) and the league in 1994 and 1995. They last made the final in 1999, losing to Sapura.
But Wallace believes that past records mean nothing in tomorrow’s semi-finals.
“We have a different team now and have included foreign players for the first time since the MHL’s inception in 1987,” he said.
“KLHC are a very strong side and showed that in their performances this season. They have many national players and should have the upperhand against us.”
Wallace certainly must come up with a different strategy to derail KLHC’s hopes of winning the double for a third time.