Friday, November 28, 2008

Koshy: Leave top clubs out of plan

ERNST & Young team manager George Koshy welcomes the move by Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) to help revive the club structure in Malaysia, but with a different twist.
MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah had said that at least five Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) teams will be in for a windfall, as plans are afoot to give them money, clubhouses complete with artificial pitches, and in return they are supposed to start grassroots development.
Koshy, who is also the Kuala Lumpur HA president, supports the idea, but feels MHL teams must not be the target group.
“Four teams in the MHL have their own strong corporate sponsors, and so I feel they should be left alone as com plications might arise if the MHF starts to fund, or provide a clubhouse for them.
“They have their own corporate image, and respon sibilities, and many issues need to be ironed out before the project can be launched.
“The idea is good, but it will take a long time to, say, build a clubhouse and lay the artificial pitches. Not to mention the high cost.
“So, I feel it would be better is MHF start with clubs which already have a home-ground, and playing fields like Kelab Aman, Royal Selangor Club, and other clubs in different states.
“These clubs also have many ex-internationals as mem bers, and if the MHF support them further, I am sure hockey will mushroom with parental support,” said Koshy.
In the MHL, Ernst & Young, Tenaga Nasional, Sapura and Maybank have solid backing and are able to fend for themselves, but the same cant be said about teams in Division Two.
And the cost to play in the MHL?
“It is a corporate secret, but I can safely say that it costs more than an arm and a leg, especially since we have hired the best players in the country,” said Koshy.
Royal Selangor Club and Kelab Aman have a strong hockey tradition, but funding and coaching has always been a major problem.
“I am sure that if the MHF sponsors established clubs, it will not only cost less, but the country will also have a bigger pool of player in a short span,” said Koshy.