Monday January 7, 2013
Count us out as title contenders, say former champs BJSS
KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) have won more titles – 12 in total – than anybody else in the MHF-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League (MJHL). But don’t count them as title contenders this season.
The seven-time league champions from 2003 to 2009 are only targeting to better their performance from last year. They finished third in the league and the knockout tournament.
BJSS coach S. Prakash said they would be fielding a young team this season.
“I do not believe we have a team good enough to challenge for honours yet. Maybe in two years’ time we can mount a serious threat. Most of the players are from our junior squad.
“There are some Under-17 players and only one Under-18 player (Fadzli Zulkifli). We also have one Under-15 player (Mohamed Shahrezan).
“Our aim is to groom a title-winning side for the future. Many of our senior players have left to join other teams. It is understandable as the other sides are able to pay for their services. We are not complaining as this is the reality of the situation,” added Prakash.
Prakash believes reigning double champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt, a combination of Tenaga Nasional and Bandar Penawar Sports School players, are the favourites.
“Thunderbolt are very strong and the team to beat in the league. I think UniKL and Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) will also be strong contenders. Like I said if we can maintain or improve on last season’s performance, it is a step in the right direction.
“The plan as usual is to take one match at a time and then work from there. There will be no easy matches,” said Prakash.
BJSS will have to be at their best as they face Thunderbolt at the Education Ministry pitch in Jalan Pantai in their opening match on Friday. Then on Sunday, they face MBPJ at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
“It is a tough opening week for us. In many ways the first two matches will give us an indication of our chances in the league,” added Prakash.
The MJHL kicks off on Thursday with Thunderbolt facing SSTMI Juniors at the National Hockey Stadium.