KUALA LUMPUR: Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) Thunderbolts believe there are no clear favourites in Division One of the Junior Hockey League (JHL), which begins on Wednesday.
Last season, SSTMI Thunderbolts won the overall title when they defeated Pahang Sports School Thunderbolts in the final while Petaling Jaya City Council (PJCC) Tigers topped the league standings.
SSTMI Thunderbolts coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman said: "Indications are that any of the four Thunderbolts teams can win titles this year.”
The other Thunderbolts teams are Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) and Anderson School of Ipoh.
Thunderbolts is a project run and funded by Tenaga Nasional Bhd.
"Fans say SSTMI will have an easy time as Universiti Kuala Lumpur are not fielding a team. But I beg to differ, as the three other Thunderbolts teams along with SMK Datuk Bentara Luar have a good chance.
"Bentara Luar held us to a 1-1 draw last season, and we only beat them 4-2 in a shootout," said Wan Roslan.
SSTMI will open against Bentara Luar, who are sponsored and managed by UniKL, in Batu Pahat.
"I expect it to be another tough match, just like last season,” Wan Roslan added.
Wednesday: PJCC Tigers v SSTMI (PJ Stadium, 5pm), Datuk Bentara-UniKL v SSTMI Thunderbolts (Batu Pahat, 5pm), BJSS Thunderbolts v Olak (KLHA Stadium, 5pm).
Friday: Pahang SS Thunderbolts v PJCC Tigers (Kuantan, 5pm), SSTMI v SSTMI Thunderbolts (SSTMI, 5pm).