UNIKL were a late entry last season and had trouble settling down, but this season, preparations have already started to field a strong side in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) which is slated to start in the first week of De cember.
In their MHL debut early this year UniKL, with an average age of 21, finished at the bottom of the six-team pool in the Premier Division. But in the quarter-finals, they held May bank 3-3 in the first leg, but lost 2-0 in the return leg.
And in the Junior Hockey League (JHL), they were runners- up in the League and Overall champions.
Coach I. Vickneswaran said the club is currently con ducting an open trial, and he is looking at some quality players to make an impact in the MHL.
“Last season, we only had a month’s preparation and struggled to click in the early matches. That is why we are conducting trials at the Kuala Lumpur HA stadium this week, and the response has been great.
“Some of our former young players have been snatched by other clubs, so we are also looking to inject the MHL team with some quality senior players and at this stage, the outlook is promising,” said Vickneswaran.
The team was started by their chancellor Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, who is also the Malaysian Hockey Federation president.
“The final trials for short-listed players will be held on Saturday, but even then we will not be too sure of some signings, as they have to get release form their work and former clubs which they had signed contracts with,” said Vickneswaran.
Last season UniKL spent a total of RM500,000 in the MHL and JHL: “We have a healthy budget this season too, and with it, we hope to sign some quality players to help boost the performance of our young and rising players.”
The club started with a bang in their JHL debut when they dethroned former Overall champions Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) and denied Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) Thunderbolt the double.
In the MHL, they will have to contend with heavyweight clubs like Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club , Sapura, Tenaga Nasional and Maybank.