I must document the fact that the EY coach is the most successful coach in the domestic hockey tournaments at club, state or age groups. He has worked hard and at times was frustrated particularly with the old MHF set-up. His prominence goes hand in with his manager who also happen to helm Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA). What is noteworthy of KLHA is their development programme and they are really pouring their resources into it.
How meaningful are both these titles to EY? On the Asian Champions Club, the absences of teams from India, South Korea, Japan and China, throws some "cold water" of being called Champions. Of course this is not EY's problem as they are there to participate but not that of a the main Organiser. Therefore as far the teams that were present EY came out tops and that is what that matters. As to why the tournament was poorly represented is very much an Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) issue and they and their affiliates have to tackle it.
As for being Champions of MHL, EY may need to do some form of "soul searching" to determine if it is a meaningful title. This is a team with nearly 20 national players and is able to attract such players with attractive remuneration packages. Although there were rumours of other approaches that were used to bring players to EY but in the absence of any hard evidence i do not want to indulge in such gossips. So, even before the tournament could commence, the titles were a foregone conclusion. The MHL seem principally to provide a legitimacy for EY to be called Champions.
The main person with EY is also involved with KLHA and recently in MHF. These person has a duty to Malaysian hockey particularly with the National League. As the years have gone by this league has deteriorated to such a state that only 3 to 4 teams have dominated it over the last few years. Now EY has packed itself with more national players than required, which calls into question the wisdom of such a decision. Yes! EY can be the winner but is Malaysian hockey the ultimate winner?
What has EY's actions done for Malaysian hockey:
- Helping the process of MHL to lose its status and "glitter".
- Creating a spiral rise in salaries among national hockey players which does not commensurate with their performance.
- Such remuneration packages makes it difficult for others to "match" or discourages new teams to enter the league.
- Opportunities for younger non national players have become restricted.