S. KUHAN started playing in the Malaysia Hockey League in 1992 when he was a 16-year-old, and knows the tournament like the back of his hands.
He tasted the glory of becoming double champions with his first ever team Yayasan Negri Sembilan in 1994 and 1995, and then moved to Petaling Jaya Municipal Council, Bank Simpanan Nasional and finally Sapura in 2000 up till now.
"I have been involved with the MHL since my school days, and practically spent half my life playing in it. It is difficult to compare the standard of play over the 15 years as there have been too many changes in rules over the years. The sport is no longer the same as when I first started playing it," said Kuhan when asked on his opinion on the progress of the MHL.
However, the former Malaysian captain lamented on two matters which are a bit of a concern.
"The crowd used to be much better back then, especially when Armed Forces were playing as truck loads of supporters were brought in to make it more interesting.
"Today, there are some venues which attract only small crowds, and it only gets better from the semi-finals onwards when stadiums are filled to the brim.
"The other matter is on the infusion of foreign players. Personally, I feel that there should be a cap on the number of foreigners which a team can sign up.
"Having foreigners, especially big names in hockey, is a crowd puller but too many of them in one team deprives our local players of an opportunity to play.
"I believe, maybe five foreigners is a good cap, and the locals can also learn from them like YNS players did back then when the best India players were hired to make it more exciting," said Kuhan.
India skipper Pargat Singh, Jude Felix and Mukesh Kumar were the foreign stars in YNS, while the local big names were former skipper Sarjit Singh, Soon Mustapha, Gurmit Singh and current national coaching coordinator Stephen van Huizen.
YNS made a comeback to the League after an absence of 15 years but more than 50 percent of their team are foreign players.
On how the MHL could be further improved, Kuhan said: "I feel the MHL is well run, and many of our juniors from Project 2013 have benefited from playing in it.
"However, the fixtures need to be improved as the 3.30pm and 4pm matches serve no purpose. Firstly, the crowd are not there, and secondly, it is just too hot to play at that hour and the quality drops drastically," said Kuhan.