LAST season Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) made a return to the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) after a 15-year hiatus, but they have disappeared from the radar again.
YNS, the former double champions, will not compete in the MHL which starts on Sept 1 as it is too costly, and they do not have local talent to form a team.
“Yes, YNS will not be fielding a side in the MHL as not only is the league too short (about 40 days), but also the cost is too high,” said Negri Sembilan HA secretary P, Tamilselvan.
Tamilselvan was not willing to reveal the amount YNS spent last season, but a rough estimate should be around RM500,000 as they hired 11 foreign players in their come back bid.
“The other reason is that the state does not have quality senior players to form a decent side for the Premier Division or the Division One of the MHL.
“The standard of play, especially in the Premier Division, is just too high as we got mauled even with foreign help last season,” said Tamilselvan.
Tamilselvan was the assistant team manager for YNS last season, and they started off well by beating Maybank 4-1, but then lost 2-1 to UniKL and 6-3 to Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and their downhill slide continued and they ended sixth on the League standings.
In the two-leg knock-out TNB Cup quarter-finals, YNS were hammered 5-1 and 4-1 by Tenaga Nasional.
“We do have three teams in the Junior Hockey League (Datuk Taha, Tengku Besar Secondary School and NSHA) but they boys are too young to be exposed in the MHL and also, most of them will all be involved in examinations during the MHL period this season,” said Tamilselvan.
YNS were the double champions in 1996, and have seen India’s best Pargat Singh, Jude Felix and N. Mukesh Kumar donning their colours at their height.
This year, the Premier Division is expected to be a six team affair with KL Hockey Club, Sapura, UniKL, Maybank, Tena ga Nasional and possibly Nur Insafi making up the numbers.