KUALA LUMPUR: Former national coach and Olympian Sarjit Singh feels the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) should have a re-think about their plan to scrap Division One from next season's Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
MHC's competitions committee, chaired by George Koshy, were tasked with revamping the sagging MHL and they decided to only host the Premier Division next year.
Eight teams have registered for the Premier Division and they are University Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Terengganu Hockey Team (THT), Maybank, Tenaga Nasional, TNB Thunderbolts, Nur Insafi, Penang Hockey Club and UiTM.
"The plan to scrap Division one is not in tandem with development in mind, as it will deprive many players from having a platform to gain experience after they are no longer eligible for the JHL (Junior Hockey League).
"MHC must ponder about their priorities. If they only want to see a small group of players competing in the MHL, then they can do away with the Division One.
"But if they want to develop a larger pool of players, then Division One is a very important tournament," said the former national captain who played at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
In the MHL, Sarjit had played for Tenaga Nasional and Yayasan Negri Sembilan.
Last season, six teams competed in Premier Division while 13 teams in two groups in Division One.
But the MHC are only interested in about 10-12 teams to play in the Premier.
"If this becomes a reality, those who don't make it for the Premier will only have an option to play in the state leagues as well as Razak Cup, and no other avenue to showcase their talent."
Among the Division One clubs which will be hit hard if MHC carry out their plan are Politeknik-KPT, PJCC Tigers, Pahang Juniors, Kedah HC, RMAF Rajawali, Selangor and Ipoh City Council -- to name a few.
Sports Journalist with the New Straits Times since 1994.
My main beat is field hockey, so this blog will have stories that I have written for the NST, as well as hockey news from around the globe. There will be regular updates. I was also the Secretary General of the National Press Club, Malaysia for three terms (six years).