Saturday, 28 December 2013 19:30

The MHC-MILO-NSC Junior Hockey League 2014 will see the participation of a record number of 30 teams in the competition which will commence on January 10, with the finals scheduled for March 9.

The 30 teams were divided into two Divisions, with Division Two having 3 pools.

Division One will comprise of defending champions, Sekolah Sukan Tengku Mahkota Ismail, UniKL Young Guns, Malacca High School, Anderson-Perak SEDC, Petaling Jaya Municipal Council, SSTMI Juniors and KL Sports School Juniors.

The distribution of teams in the Second Division was based on geographical location so as to cut costs for the teams.

Division 2A will be made out of MSSSPP-USM, Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Persatuan hoki Kota Star, Nur Insafi, 1MAS Penang, SMK Syed Hassan, 1MAS Kelantan and Matri Perlis.

Division 2B comprises of KLHC Juniors, Anderson Juniors, MSSD Larut & Selama, Felda Akademi Hoki Pahang, MSP Pahang, SMK Padang Midin, Olak-PKT and Permatang Juniors.

Division 2C will have SMK Tunku Besar Tampin, SMK Dato Mohd Taha Gemencheh, Bukit Jalil Sports School, Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors, SMK Dato Bentara Luar Batu Pahat, SM Sains Johor and Politeknik Johor Baru.

SMK Dato Penggawa Barat Pomtian withdrew this morning thus reduciung the teams in Division 2C to just 7.

The top two teams from the three pools in Division Two will move into the next round and will be divided into two groups, X & Y. They will play a one round league with the top teams of X & Y playing to determine the Champion of Division Two. The second placed teams will play to determine the 3rd and 4th positions.

The top four teams of Division One will be joined by the top four of the playoff in Division Two for the MILO Cup knock out stages.

In a significant move, the Most Promising Player Trophy will be named after the late Chua Boon Huat, who passed away tragically on August 1.

The MJHL was initiated in 1995 by former National Sports Council Director General Dato Wira Mazlan Ahmad and the late S. Satgunam, the former Secretary of the then Malaysian Hockey Federation.

It has since grown in stature and the interest of teams is increasing, thus it augurs well towards the development of the sport within the country.

It cannot be denied that the MHC-MILO-NSC Junior Hockey League is a platform for budding youngsters to stake their claim into the various national age group teams and eventually work their way up to the national senior squad.

As a matter of fact, all the players that represented the nation in the recent Junior World Cup had featured in the Malaysian Junior Jockey League in the past.

Current national team players in the likes of Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tg Jalil, Faizal Saari, S. Kumar, Mohd Shukri Mutalib, Mohd Razie Rahim, amongst others,  had benefitted from playing in the MJHL.

Emerging fourth in the recent Junior World Cup in New Delhi proves that Malaysia has the talent to do well internationally and therefore investing in the junior players will eventually pay off.

MILO has been the title sponsor of the MJHL since the inaugural edition in 1995 and their commitment towards the tournament has increased over the years with significant funding made available not only for the MJHL but also other age group tournaments such as the National Under 14 and Under 16 for boys and girls as well.

“We believe that it is only proper to nuture the youngsters and providing them with a platform to develop. As such the MJHL is a perfect way to develop the sport,” said Nestle Products (M) Berhad’s Sports Sponsorship Manager Ng Ping Loong.

“We at MILO are happy with the increasing interest as evident with the number of teams participating at a record high of 30 teams.

“The tournament not only provides an avenue for players to develop but also serves as a perfect avenue for the Sate Sports Council’s to prepare the teams for the Malaysian Games held every two years.

“In addition it helps the affiliates of the MHC to identify players for their various age group teams.

“On behalf of Nestle, I wish to place on record our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation for being able to sustain the tournament for the past 18 years and we will continue to support it in the years to come.”

Teams from all states in the Peninsular are participating in the MJHL with Sabah and Sarawak not represented.

Johor and Kuala Lumpur has the largest number of entries with five teams each, followed by Perak (4), Penang and Selangor ( 3 each), Pahang, Perlis and Negri Sembilan (2 each) while Malacca, Terengganu and Kelantan are fielding one team each.

Those making their debut in the MJHL are KLSS Juniors, MSSSWP Juniors Kuala Lumpur, MSSD Larut Matang & Selama Perak, Persatuan Hoki Kota Star Kedah, Permatang Juniors Selangor, SMK Dato Bentara Luar Batu Pahat, Politeknik Johor Baru, SMK Syed Hassan Perlis and Felda Hoki Akademi Pahang.

“We are honoured that many teams have shown interest and there is no denying that the MJHL is one of the most awaited tournaments in the calendar of Malaysian Hockey,” said MHC Vice President and Chairman of the Competitions Committee M. Gobinathan.

“We are thankful that MILO has been supporting the tournament all these years and we at MHC will strive to improve the running of the MJHL.

“I wish the teams all the best and we look forward to a successful tournament.

“On the format, we had time constraints if Division Two was to be contested in two pools. We hope that by 2015 we will have 10 teams in Division One as four teams will be promopted from the lower division while only the last placed team will be relegated.”

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