Same old, same old league spectacle

KUALA LUMPUR: There are not enough quality players to go around, and so the Malaysian Men's and Women's Hockey League have yet again turned out to be a predictable spectacle.

The men's and women's League crowns will be decided this weekend, and in both sections, Charity Shield teams will yet again battle for titles.

Tenaga Nasional and Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) in the men's and Negri Sembilan and Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten-KPT) will yet again be involved in the League title tussle.

The math for the women is simple, as both teams secured seven national players each while the other four teams were left to pick up the crumbs.

In the men's League, THT have made an investment in three South Korean players, and one of them is recent World Cup star Jang Jong Hyun, who has contributed 23 goals to be second on the top scorers list.

Tenaga Nasional, as usual, relied yet again on local players and have blown hot and cold since losing the Charity Shield to THT, 4-3.

The Negri women have also been on a roller coaster ride, and were lucky to win the Charity Shield 2-1 after a 1-1 draw in regulation time.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) fielded their National Juniors in both the men's and women's Leagues, and their men were a flop in many matches.

The most recent was when Young Tigers lost 3-1 to a Universiti-Club side UitM HA and will likely miss the Overall title semi-finals.

Young Tigress, on the other hand, have qualified for the Overall semi-finals and could even pull off a surprise in the knockout stage.

Kuala Lumpur will host the men's Junior World Cup on Dec 5–16, and the Young Tigers will be fielded to defend Malaysia's pride as hosts.

But looking at their MHL performances, the team look half-baked and need a host of international matches to become stronger, or suffer humiliating defeats in front of home fans like they did at the Sultan of Johor Cup.

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