Wednesday February 6, 2013
Thunderbolt skipper wants to go out with a bang
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt skipper Amir Zulkarnain Ahmad Robangi wants to end his playing days in the MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League (MJHL) in style.
The 19-year-old has been playing for Thunderbolt for the last five years and he is not eligible to play in the Under-19 league next season. Tomorrow, he will do all he can to help Thunderbolt retain the Division One title by beating Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) in their final league match. Both second-placed Thunderbolt and third-placed UniKL are on 15 points and both need a win to bag the league crown. Leaders Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) have 18 points but they have completed their fixtures.
“This is my final year with the team. I want to help Thunderbolt win another double,” said Amir, who helped his team win the league and overall titles last season.
Amir strongly believes that Thunderbolt will come out on top again against UniKL.
“Last year we drew 1-1 with them in the last league match to bag the league title on goal difference. Then, we beat them 2-1 in the final to win the overall crown,” said Amir.
The Selangor-born defender has scored four goals so far and plans to increase his tally against UniKL.
“I hope to get it right with the penalty corners. We must put away the chances that come our way,” he said.
Thunderbolt, however, will be without the services of two key players – forward Mohd Azwar Abdul Rahman and midfielder Mohd Amirol Aideed Mohd Arshad. Both have yet to recover from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
“There is nothing to worry about. We have enough capable players in the team as we retained 13 from last year’s squad. We have been playing together for a few years and we’ve the experience to rise to the occasion again,” said Amir.
He added that the 3-2 defeat by MBI-Anderson in Ipoh last week was a good wake-up call.
“It was our first loss of the season. It came as a shock but it was a good lesson. It shows that we are not unbeatable and we need to be alert throughout a match,” said Amir.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee have turned down UniKL’s request to change the time of the match against Thunderbolt from 5pm to 7pm to allow more of their supporters to turn up for the clash.
“The match will be played at 5pm as scheduled,” said MHC competitions committee chairman M. Gobinathan.