Sunday, 24 November 2013 18:04

The role of clubs in contributing towards the development of players has often been sidelined by national sports associations.


But no one can deny the fact that UniKL has contributed immensely towards Malaysian hockey ever since making its entry into the Malaysian Junior Hockey League in 2010.


For their efforts in helping raise the profile of Malaysian hockey has reaped dividends as they have seven players in the national juniors squad that will participate in the Junior World Cup in New Delhi from December 6 to 15.


As a matter of fact, the list is longer for there are five other players in the team that had donned the UniKL jersey in the both the Malaysian hockey League and MJHL as well.


The seven players named into the final 18 for the Junior World Cup are Mohd Rashid Baharom, Kavin Karthik, Meor Mohammad Azuan, Muhammad Haziq Samsul, Mohd Azri Hassan, Mohd Nor Aqmal and Muhammad Hafiz Zainol.


Five others, Joel Samuel van Huizen, Mohd Zulhairi Hashim, Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Faiz Helmi Mohd Jali and Mohd Syamim Yusof had represented UniKL in the two leagues before.


Much of the credit ought to go to Amir Azhar Ibrahim, who virtually founded the UniKL team and has worked tirelessly without much fan fare in developing players that go on to represent the nation.


“We at UniKL have always focused on providing talented players an platform to better themselves. And playing in the MHL and MJHL is the right way for these players to gain invaluable experience,” said Amir.


“I am glad that our efforts has paid dividends and is testimony to the fact that long term development not only helps the club but also contributes towards ensuring a steady supply of players for national cause.


“I do believe that working as a team is vital, and towards this I must thank the higher echelon of UniKL for having the faith in hockey and at the same time providing invaluable support both financially and administratively.


“This success is not the effort of one person, but the entire UniKL as even the students studying at UniKL have played a vital role by forming the UniKL Ultras supporters group that turns up in full force for matches all over the country.”


Indeed Amir is grateful to the likes of I.Vikneswaran, K. Enbaraj, Mirnawan Nawawi and his able assistant Mohd Faiz Isa for their invaluable support in developing these players.


UniKL has not rested on its laurels as they have started a goalkeepers coaching clinic, under the guidance of M. Nadarajah that is held weekly at the National Hockey Stadium.


“Ultimately it all boils down to support from the top management. And I am grateful that they have continued to support hockey,” added Amir.


“Our hope is that this team will do well in the Junior World Cup and we at UniKL will continue our supporting role for the betterment of Malaysian hockey.


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