PIC: S. Selvaraju during his playing days (left).
FORMER international S. Selvaraju will coach Kuala Lumpur in their bid for a fifth consecutive National Under-16 title on April 27-May 4.
Selvaraju, who made his national junior debut in the 2005 Junior World Cup in Rotterdam, has enough quality players in his young side who are capable of winning the title.
Last year, KL whitewashed Malacca 6-0 in the final and did not concede a single goal in eight matches,
"We have some good players in this KL team who have been playing in Division Four of the KL League and have not lost a single match to date," said Selvaraju.
KL, who have been in training for one month, have two national under-16 players in Misniwan Gusni and Nor Shafiq Sumantri, two from Sekolah Sukan Tunku Mahkota Ismail and 13 from Titiwangsa School.
The tournament will be held at two venues -- Sungai Petani and Alor Star.
"The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHF) will give a grant of RM3,000 to each competing team and we have 12 registered for the tournament," said organising chairman S. Satish Kumar, who is also the Kedah HA deputy president.
"We decided to hold the age-group tournament at two venues so that more fans can watch the action." Selvaraju feels the challenge will come from Perak, Terengganu and Penang.
"In any age-group tournament, it is difficult to predict the strength of opposing teams until the first day's matches are over, but the early indications are that Perak, Terengganu and Penang will be the teams to beat," said Selvaraju.
KL are in Group A with Kelantan, Selangor, Pahang, Johor and Terengganu, while Malacca are in Group B with Perak, Negri Sembilan, Penang, Kedah and Perlis.
Sabah and Sarawak have opted to stay out. By Jugjet Singh