YAYASAN Negri Sembilan (YNS) will know if they are championship material when they play Tenaga and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) back-to-back this weekend.
YNS, who scraped past a fighting Nur Insafi 2-1 on Sunday, should have no problem beating UniKL tomorrow before their big weekend.
"My Pakistan players (six of them) were a little too eager to attack in the first half as they were playing to the style which was taught to them.
"However, I told them to slow down the pace in the second half, and we managed to beat Nur Insafi," said YNS coach K. Rajan.
With the opening weekend out of the way, Rajan is confident his team will be ready for Tenaga and KLHC.
"By then, I would have had enough time to train the foreign players to play as a team with the locals and be ready to give Tenaga and KLHC a tough time as we are looking to upset the form book this season."
Rajan, a former Tenaga and national juniors coach, feels the tournament is still open and the front runners must not take any team lightly.
"Nur Insafi were the whipping boys last season, but I believe they will trouble even KLHC and Tenaga as well as Sapura," said the experienced coach.
YNS were saved the blushes by their Pakistan penalty corner flicker Ihsan Ullah Khan, who scored both their goals off penalty corners.
"Ihsan is a former international and he has the power, and I need to work a little on the direction. I believe he will be an asset. When he was playing for Pakistan, he never got a chance to flick during penalty corners as Sohail (Abbas) was at his best then," said Rajan.