TERENGGANU Hockey Team (THT) spent millions to buy the best local talent, as well as five South Koreans, to land their first Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division League title after two seasons.
Kuala Lumpur HC, the other rich kid on the block, were denied their ninth League title and their four consecutive double streak was finally broken.
There are only six teams in the Premier Division, but one could safely say that at least a total of RM8 million was spent this season.
THT coach Sarjit Singh said even though they finished fifth in their debut season, the plan was to win a double this year.
“We have achieved one goal and now we are looking to nail the double as well. THT have spent much to form this side and we need to deliver the silverware now.
“My contract is for two years with THT with an option to renew. And I can safely say that we will be much better next season as we have many plans, including developing local juniors for the long run,” said Sarjit.
The giant-killers of this season title goes to UniKL as they hammered KLHC 5-1 on Sunday.
UniKL deserve the accolades and they almost lost the services of their best penalty corner flicker Nor Aqmal who suffered a deep gash near his left eye which needed 10 stitches and spent the night in hospital.
UniKL had lost 4-0 to KLHC in Round One, so the reversal of fortunes was not expected.
However, KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj doused some of their fire when he said that he had given more time to his reserves to prepare for the knockout stage.
“Once we lost to THT (5-1) in Kuala Terengganu and had to chase nine goals, I decided that it would be useless to make a dash for goals against UniKL so in went reserve goalkeeper (Hakim Adnan) for his first match of the season.
“I also gave time to all my bench warmers. For me it’s simple, if I can’t win the title, it is useless to push the players to the limit as we will finish second anyway.
“This way, the team avoided unnecessary cards and injuries and I tested some fringe players and one can see from the result how they played,” said Dharmaraj.
THT and KLHC are now the seeded teams, and a draw will be held today to pair the other four teams. The top-two teams receive a bye and about 10 days of rest, while the other four teams play to decide who moves into the semi-finals.
By Jugjet Singh - NST