Thursday January 10, 2013
Olak manager Joseph slams MHC over fixture congestion
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak)-PKT team manager Joseph de Silva has accused the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) of trying to “kill” the junior league.
Joseph is peeved with the MHC for making a mockery of the fixtures for the MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League (MJHL), which begins today.
But he isn’t the only one unhappy with the fixture congestion, which will see many teams having to play three matches in as many days this week.
Among the teams having to play three matches in 72 hours are double champions Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt, former champions Olak-PKT, SMK Datuk Taha of Gemencheh, Tunas Muda Pahang and debutants IMAS Penang.
Olak-PKT, who are playing in Division Two, will open their campaign against Tunku Besar School of Tampin at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow.
They will then hit the road to face SMK Padang Midin in Kuala Terengganu on Saturday and Tunas Muda of Pahang in Kuantan on Sunday.
“We not only have to play three matches in three days but also travel to three different states within 72 hours,” said Joseph yesterday.
“All that travelling will surely affect the quality of my players’ performance.
“MHC are unprofessional ... they don’t care about the players’ physical conditions. They are killing the league,” said Joseph, who revealed that they would have to spend at least RM3,500 on transportation alone this weekend.
SSTMI-Thunderbolt are also in the same boat – opening their Division One campaign against SSTMI Juniors in Bukit Jalil today before facing former five-time double champions Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) at the Education Ministry Turf tomorrow.
Then, on Saturday, they will take on newly-promoted Malacca High School in Bukit Jalil.
SSTMI-Thunderbolt coach Wan Roslan Wan Abdul Rahman is also hoping that his boys will be able to maintain their form despite the hectic schedule.
“We have retained 15 players from last season and will have the services of three Project 2013 squad players,” said Wan Roslan, who’s been coaching the team since 2002.
The Project 2013 players are goalkeeper Mohd Ridzwan Azmi, midfielder Mohd Najmi Farizal Jazlan and forward Mohd Shahril Saabah.
Shahril was the top scorer in the MJHL last year – netting 20 goals.
A record 27 teams (Sabah Juniors have pulled out) will be competing in Division One and Division Two of the MJHL this time.
The other teams in Division One include last year’s league and overall runners-up Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), MBI Anderson, Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and MSSPP-USM.
Division Two will have 19 teams divided into two groups.
Group A will have Anderson Juniors, Matri of Perlis, Nur Insafi, SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman of Ipoh, IMAS Penang, MSS Perlis, Kedah Juniors, PHK-MSSK-MSN and SMK Sains Tun Azlan Shah.
Group B comprises Olak-PKT, KL Sports School, BJSS Juniors, Tunas Muda Pahang, SMK Padang Midin, Politeknik PKT, Kuala Langat, SMK Datuk Taha, SMK Tunku Besar and MSSJ-PHJ-MSN.
The top six teams from Division One and top two from Division Two will then qualify for the knockout stage.
The total prize money is RM145,500 and the final is slated for March 3.