Saturday March 16, 2013
Hockey: Ex-international Kuhan is now Sapura team manager
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Former national skipper S. Kuhan has decided to quit playing in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
The 36-year-old Negri Sembilan defender will instead play a different role this time – as team manager of Sapura – when the league begins on March 22.
“Age is catching up with me. The time has come for me to give the younger players a chance to play in the MHL,” said Kuhan, who made his debut in the MHL for Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) in 1992.
“You need to be physically fit to play in the league. And this year’s league will definitely be more competitive than last year with a lot of foreign players,” added the former penalty corner specialist.
After his stint in YNS, Kuhan joined Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) in 1997. Two years later, he featured for Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN).
In 2000, he decided to play for Sapura and stayed there for 12 years. It proved to be a fruitful union as Sapura went on to win four titles. They were double champions in 2005 and clinched the league title in 2004 and overall Cup in 2006.
Kuhan also emerged the MHL’s top scorer three times – 1997, 1999 and 2003.
He said it was a real honour for him to be named as Sapura team manager.
“I believe I was named team manager because of my playing experience. I hope to carry out my duties well and hope to help Sapura do well in the league,” added Kuhan.
Sapura, however, will not have the services of three national players – Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil and the Mohan brothers Jiwa and Jivan.
Midfielder Marhan has joined Tenaga Nasional while Jiwa will play for Maybank. Jivan has been recruited by debutants Terengganu.
Sapura, however, have roped in four imports – Pakistanis Kashif Ali, Mohd Zubir and Yasir Islam and Veera Chamy of India – to beef up their team.
Sapura will also have the services of two national players – forward Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin and defender Mohd Rizal Nasir.
“We have also included a few players from the Project 2013 squad. We hope to win at least one title this year.
“We have not won any silverware since 2006. The time has come for us to go all out to end the title drought,” said Kuhan.
Besides Sapura, the other teams that will feature in the Premier League this season are double champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club, Tenaga Nasional, Maybank, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Terengganu and Nur Insafi.