KUALA LUMPUR: Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) have never been able to finish in the top four of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
But they hope to see a change in their fortunes next year after assembling an improved squad.
With former overall champions Sapura not competing next season, UniKL believe they have a bright chance of a top-four finish in the Premier Division. And they have recruited two Sapura players – Mohamed Azrul Hasbullah and Faridzul Afiq Mohamed – to strengthen their squad.
Of the foreign imports, UniKL have retained only Mohamed Touseeq of Pakistan. But they have signed Argentine Ignacio Santiago, who played for Maybank last season, Pakistani youngster Mohamed Aleem and former Indian international Tushar Khandekar.
UniKL are also planning to recruit an Argentine goalkeeper before the start of the season with the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Trophy, a knockout competition, on Jan 6.
UniKL coach A. Arulselvaraj is excited with their prospects.
“We have a more settled side next season. Most of the players we signed are midfielders. Our engine room will be well manned and I believe we can pose a greater challenge.
“We were fifth in the league and failed to make the semi-finals last season. This time we will take one game at a time and see how far we can go,” said Arulselvaraj.
Besides UniKL, the others competing in the eight-team league are double champions Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC), Maybank, Tenaga Nasional, TNB Thunderbolt, SSTMI and UiTM-KPT.
Arulselvaraj will have a chance to gauge his team’s strength when UniKL play in a four-team competition at the MBPJ Stadium from today until Tuesday.
Terengganu, Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and the visiting Inner Mongolia team are the other competing teams.