Saturday, August 29, 2015
UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) have yet to win a single point in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL), and the alarm bells have started to ring loud and clear for coach Arul Selvaraj.
For, Arul who is also the Project 2016 coach, has 12 national juniors under him in UniKL and time the Junior Asia Cup is just around the corner.
Kuantan will host the Junior World Cup Qualifier on Nov 14-22 and Malaysia need to make the semi-finals to play in India in 2016.
Arul admitted that his players still lack confidence in themselves, and he is being helped by Technical Director Terry Walsh to chart their path towards Kuantan,
"My players (12 Project boys) still lack confidence in themselves and we do have a psychologist to take care of that department, but we have yet to overcome this problem," said Arul after UniKL lost 4-1 to Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club on Friday.
UniKL held KLHC 1-1 until the fourth quarter, but they crumbled and let in three more goals: "We lost because the players did not believe in themselves," said Arul.
The Projec 2016 boys will face the challenge of their lives when they play in the Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJC) on Oct 11-18. But Arul is not looking for results from the tournament which will feature some of the best juniors in the world.
Defending champions India, Australia, Argentina, Britain and Pakistan have confirmed for the SOJC.
"I will not be looking for results in the SOJC as during that period, we will be looking at moving their stamina to a higher level. I am being helped by Walsh to chart their plan towards the Junior Asia Cup, and I believe we will be ready for the Kuantan challenge," said Arul.
UniKL will play Tenaga Sunday, and it will be an interesting match for Arul, as Tenaga have six 2016 Project players.
In the First Round, Tenaga beat UniKL 3-2, and then, Arul had said that his six players in Tenaga played much better than the 12 in UniKL.
RESULT: Division One: Group B: PKS-KPM 2 UniKL Young Guns 2.
SUNDAY: Premier Division -- Sapura v KLHC (6pm, Pitch II), Terengganu v Maybank (Batu Buruk, 6pm), UniKL v Tenaga (8pm, Pitch II).
Division One: Group A: MSP-YPSSP v BJSS (Kuantan, 5pm), MBI v MSNT-THT (Azlan Shah, 5pm); Group B: UiTM v UniKL Young Guns (5pm, Pitch I), Nur Insafi v SSTMI (Sg Petani, 5pm), ATM Airod v Politeknik (Tun Razak, 5pm).
Note: National Stadium in Bukit Jalil unless stated.