KUALA LUMPUR, The tussle for the 2020 Malaysian Hockey League (LHM) Sumbangsih Cup will surely be stiff when once again it will see a collision between the Terengganu Hockey team (THT) and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) on Jan 10.
The 2019 TNB Cup and Sumbangsih Cup champions, THT, which is now being helmed by former national coach Muhammad Dharmaraj Abdullah, nevertheless, shouted their confidence at their capability to defend the title at the action at the National Hockey Stadium, Bukit Jalil.
But, at the same time, coach S. Selvaraj’s protege, UmiKL, which lost to THT via a penalty decider in the Sumbangsih Cup this season, were optimist they had a chance to wrest the championship title at the 2020 campaign after they excelled in the LHM competition chart this year.
THT midfielder, Fitri Saari, who is also a national player, did not rule out the possibility of UniKL giving a stiffer fight next season with the presence of a new import player for the team from Australia.
”Our target is to grab the championship although we expect UniKL will be stronger next season. THT is struggling (with the performance of the team) because the number of import players have been reduced from six to only four.
”The local players are still the same people. But, with the presence of coach Dharmaraj, I hope his experience of guiding the players will give an advantage to THT.
”For players like me, Faizal Saari and Muhammad Hafizuddin Othman are comfortable with Dharmaraj but the other players have never been with him. They have to get used with his way and strategies which he would be applying,” he told a media conference for the approaching 2020 LHM-TNB Cup here today.
In the meantime, THT secretary, Mohd Rashidi Hashim placed the Key Performance Index (KPI) on Muhammad Dharmaraj to retain the 2020 Sumbangsih Cup, and he believed, with the capability and expertise of the coach, it could be achieved.
Meanwhile, UniKL assistant coach, Saiful Azhar Mohd Afandi conceded they had to be more careful with the THT team especially after it came under the tutelage of Muhammad Dharmaraj.
”Our preparation for next season is proceeding smoothly. We want to grab the Sumbangsih Cup title for the first time next season after losing in the penalty decider this season,” he said.
Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)