KUALA LUMPUR: Politeknik Malaysia have set their sights on the Malaysia Hockey League’s (MHL) Division One title.
Despite not finishing higher than fourth in their four-year foray, Politeknik are confident they can do it this season following the signings of five South Korean players.
“The five South Koreans are attached to the Sultan Ibrahim Politeknik in Johor Baru. Now, we are extremely confident of our chances this year,” said team coordinator Mohamed Rafi.
“The five arrived on Friday to train with us. They are highly disciplined and it’s rubbing off on our players. I am pleased with this,” added Rafi, who is also the development centre chairman for hockey at Politeknik Malaysia.
The five South Koreans are Hwang Man-gi, Oh Seyong, Kim Hyeon-hong, Ha Jun-young and Choi Jin-young. Hyeon-hong was the South Korea skipper at the recent Junior World Cup in India. Seyoung, Man-gi and Jin-young were also members of the team who finished 14th in the 16-team tournament.
Politeknik also have two Malaysian Junior World Cuppers. But they allowed Mohamed Ashram Hamsani and Mohamed Firdaus Fauzi to play in the Premier Division.
“Ashram is with Universiti Kuala Lumpur while Firdaus will play for Maybank. Our long-term target is to produce good players through our development programme. We are proud when our players are signed up to represent other teams,” said Rafi.
Politeknik’s first test is the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Knockout Trophy on Jan 6. They face Nur Insafi in the first round.
“It is a good test for us. Nur Insafi also have foreign players. The match will give us an indication where we stand in the league,” said Rafi.
Besides Politeknik and Nur Insafi, the others in the eight-team Division One are RMAF Rajawali, Johor, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Police, Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS).
Coached by Mohamed Najib Yaakub, Politeknik’s first match in the league is against Johor on Jan 19.