On Saturday Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) will be having their finals at Kuala Lumpur Pantai Hockey Stadium. The finalists are Sapura and Ernst Young (EY). The game brings to an end the domestic hockey season for MHF.
On paper EY should easily be the winners. Having close to 20 national players of Seniors and Juniors, they should completely outplay Sapura. Their coach is regarded as Malaysia's most successful coach in terms of results, both with EY, and Kuala Lumpur. There is no magic that he needs to display, for all he needs is to get his boys to play their normal game. EY's hockey boss is a hockey "fanatic" and also helms a successful Kuala Lumpur outfit. Having his team appear in the finals is nothing new for him as, in Malaysian hockey context, it is a sure certainty of "day following night", where EY would always be there.
Sapura, the other finalist, is represented mainly by former internationals both from Malaysia and Korea. Outstanding among them are the 2 Koreans and their friendly, reliable former Malaysian Vice Captain as defender. Of the current internationals playing for them. their "most travelled" player shuttling from Perth to Kuala Lumpur is an asset. In terms of coaches there is the unofficial head coach, a former national coach who is there to bring his experience having worked with most of Malaysia's foreign coaches. He is assisted by the 2 Korean players who themselves are also coaches. Then there is the official coach on "paper" who is regarded as a novice in coaching but a renowned back being one of the best "flat" hitters in the world many "moons" ago. Some have titled this match as a contest between 2 brothers as they are coaches of both the finalists. The Manager for Sapura is no "newcomer" to hockey having served Kuala Lumpur and is currently the Chairman of Development Committee in MHF.
Indeed this is not a contest of 2 brothers. It is only a publicity hive to give some interest to the finals. For me it is a clash of current internationals and former internationals which is the bottom line. Indeed if any, the current internationals should win by a big margin as they have been in high performance game situation. The former internationals may have the strength in their mind but i do not think their "bodies" can cope. If for any reason EY does not win with a comfortable margin, or loses, the big picture is that Malaysian hockey is in a pathetic state. That will really be the final outcome of these finals.