Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ernst and Young out, MHL crippled

FLASHBACK: Ernst and Young players chairing their team manager George Koshy after winning the TNB-Malaysia Hockey League title at the TLDM Hockey Stadium in Lumut yesterday. – STARpic by SAIFUL BAHRI

ERNST and Young dropped a crippling bombshell on the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division when team manager George Koshy confirmed that they will not be fielding a team this season.
In fact, it looks like last year’s double champions Ernst and Young will now be remembered in the annals of history, as George said “Enough is enough.”
The outfit revolved from Andersen Sports Club in
2003, and has been the playground of national players for many years, but after a string of League titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008, they only nailed the double last year with the help of 12 national players, but that too on penalty strokes.
“I have made it known in the hockey circle that Ernst and Young will not be competing this season, as enough is enough,” said George.
There has been plenty of rumblings among the hockey fraternity that the club, which has a healthy budget, always monopolises national players, but George declined to com ment on that.
And among the problems that might arise is that many national players are in contract with Ernst and Young until the end of the year.
Will they be released to play for other clubs?
“I will not comment much on that issue (contract) other than say that a decision will be made after the World Cup Qualifiers in New Zealand.
“The priority for me now (George is also the national team manager) is to prepare a team for the Qualifier, and re alistically, we have as good a chance as any of the other five hopefuls to win gold.
“And what will happen to the Premier League if Malaysia qualifiers for the New Delhi World Cup? Will it still run from December 4 to the end of February when the World Cup is also in February?,” questioned George.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) had said that they will be inviting six teams, including Ernst and Young, for the Premier League while Division One champions Airod Armed Forces and runners-up UiTM will join the tournament at the quarter-finals stage.
But with the top hockey club in the country pulling out, and the future of their contracted players hanging in the balance, the Premier League looks like it is heading for a disastrous outing months before the first whistle.