UNIKL Young Guns will face an early test in Division One of the Junior Hockey League against Malacca High School at the Malacca Stadium today.
Having only played one game so far, into the third week of the JHL, UniKL are yet to find their footing as they struggled to beat KL Sports School 2-0 two weeks ago.
And UniKL are aware of the pitfalls that await them in Malacca has Malacca HS has the tendency to raise their game and stun any team that are overconfident.
“We have had a two-week rest where I worked on some of the shortfalls that were spotted against KLSS. I also emphasised on physical conditioning as the next few weeks will see us playing back to back matches,” said UniKL coach Rodhanizam Radzi.
And Rodhanizam, a former national player, knows that Malacca HS will be hard to crack: “ We cannot even afford a draw as that will leave us trailing leaders Thunderbolts and that will not be good at such an early stage."
Malacca HS have played three matches, drawing against Anderson 1-1 in their opening match before playing to a 2-2 draw against KLSS last Saturday. However, Malacca HS lost 1-3 to Petaling Jaya Municipal Council in their third match.
Defending champions Thunderbolts are at the top of the Division One table, and will play PJCC in Taman Daya today.
Thunderbolts smashed Anderson of Ipoh 7-0 last weekend.
Meanwhile, World No 13 Malaysia are in Group A of the World Cup, on May 31-June 15 at the Hague, with 2010 World Cup champions Australia (World Ranking 1), England (4), Belgium (5), India (8) and Spain (10).
In Group B, Olympic champions Germany (2) will face hosts, the Netherlands (3), New Zealand (6), South Korea (7), Argentina (11) and South Africa (12).
“We need to finish among the top 10 to move up our rankings, and I believe it will be difficult, but not impossible,” said senior coach K. Dharmaraj.
Dharmaraj has 35 players in training, and after the Azlan Shah Cup on March 13-23, he will either drop, or add more players to the pool.
Australia, Pakistan, South Korea, Canada and France have confirmed for the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh.
Junior Hockey League -- Today: Division One: SSTMI Thunderbolts v Petaling Jaya CC (5pm, Taman Daya); Malacca HS v UniKL Young Guns (5pm, Malacca).
Division 2A: 1MAS Penang v Nur Insafi (5pm, USM Stadium).
Division 2B: 1MAS Perak v KLSS Juniors (5pm, Azlan Shah Stadium); MSSD Larut Matang-Selama v Olak-PKT (5pm, Kuala Kangsar).
Division 2C: SM Sains Johor v SMK Datuk Taha (5pm, Batu Pahat); BJSS Juniors v Politeknik KPM (5pm, Ministry of Education Stadium Pantai).