THE Junior Hockey league (JHL) will now start on Jan 10, as the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee bowed to fair play at the team managers meeting yesterday.
The Division One battle between Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School and their sister team SSTMI Juniors was brought forward as JHL team managers felt there could be an element of ‘fixing’ if both the teams played at a later date.
“JHL team managers wanted SSTMI and SSTMI Juniors to play early because if they play later there might be claims of fixing the match like what allegedly happened a few years ago.
“That is why both the team will play a day before the official JHL begins on Jan 11,” said MHC competitions committee chairman M. Gobinathan.
The teams in Division One are defending double champions SSTMI, UniKL Young Guns, Bukit Jalil Sports School, MSSSPP-USM, MBI-Anderson, Petaling Jaya CC, SSTMI Ju niors and newly promoted Malacca High School.
In Division two, Group A is made up of teams mostly from the northern region in order to cut down the cost of travel. The teams are, Sabah Juniors, Anderson Juniors, MSSS Kelantan, 1Mas Penang, Matri, SM Sains Tun Azlan Shah, Kedah HA Juniors, MSSS Perlis, Nur Insafi and Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman Ipoh.
Group B will have Tunku Besar Secondary School, SMK Datuk Taha Gemencheh, Olak-PKT, SMK Padang Midin, MSSS Johor, Politeknik KPT, Kuala Langat, BJSS Juniors, KL Sports School and Tunas Muda Pahang.
A record 28 teams will be competing in the JHL since its inception in 1995. And in the knock-out quarter-finals, six teams from Division One and two teams from Division Two, the champions of their respective groups, will compete.