KUALA LUMPUR: Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) hope to utilise home ground advantage to snatch the Charity Shield from Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) at the Batu Berendam Stadium in Kuala Terengganu on Friday.
THT coach I. Vikneswaran knows that it will not be easy as UniKL will have their foreign players for the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) season opener, unlike in the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup.
"UniKL have many good players and we know they can be trouble if underestimated. They also have an international goalkeeper from Ireland (David John Harte), and I believe they will start as the favourites," said Vikneswaran.
"However, we have our own plans and I believe in the capabilities of my players to give UniKL a tough fight.”
However, Batu Buruk has been a Charity Shield 'graveyard' for THT as they lost all three Shields to Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) with scores of 2-1 in 2016, 2-2 (lost 6-4 on shootout) in 2017 and 2-2 (lost 5-4 on shootout 5-4) in 2018.
"Playing at our home turf is an advantage and with local fans backing us, we hope to get it right this time around."
UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj hopes to make it fourth time unlucky for THT.
"Two of our foreign players (Valentin Verga and Robert Kemperman) will only arrive after the Charity Shield, but still, we hope to snatch it from THT. If KLHC could win three consecutive titles at THT's home turf, we can also cause an upset," said Arul.
Women’s Malaysia Hockey League: Tengku Mahkota Ismail 0 Terengganu Ladies 5, KL Wipers 0 Blue Warriors 4, PKS Uniten 8 PSHA-MSSP 0.
Malaysia Hockey League
THT v UniKL (Batu Buruk, 4.45pm), Tenaga Nasional v UiTM (National Stadium, Pitch I, 6pm), Maybank v NurInsafi (National Stadium Pitch I, 8pm).