KLANG district, the overall champions for the Selangor Schools Sports Council (MSSS) hockey championship since 2003, look set to retain its ninth overall title this year.
Students from nine districts — Klang, Petaling, Gombak, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Kuala Langat, Hulu Langat, Sabak Bernam and Sepang — will take part in the championships that will be held at Pandamaran Hockey Stadium in Klang from May 9 to 15.
Recently, students from both the Under-12 and Under-18 age groups went through a three-day centralised training session at the stadium.
Tenaga Nasional Berhad’s (TNB) Thunderbolt trainers led by Nor Saiful Zaini guided the 72 selected youngsters to work on match play, skills development and others.
Besides Nor Saiful, other notable names in the national hockey scene who turned up were Mohd Amin Rahim, Mohd Madzli Ikmar, Nor Azlan Bakar, Lailin Abu Hassan, Mohd Fairuz Ramli, M. Kaliswaran. Azlan Rahim and current national goalkeeper Wan Mohd Fairuz.
MSSS Klang district hockey technical and development chairman Azman Ali said the team’s overall strength was very strong compared to the other districts.
“Besides this, we have homeground advantage where the tournament will be held in Klang.
“Last year, we won the girls’ Under-18 title and finished second in both the girls’ Under-12 and boys’ Under-12. We finished fourth in the boys’ Under-18 that made us overall champions.
“It would be nice to bag all four titles — boys’ Under-12, girls Under-12, boys’ Under-18 and girls’ Under-18. I am confident our players will put up a good fight.
“This year, our girls Under-12 side is strong, thanks to siblings Izzatul Shafika Ahmad, 12, Izzatul Syahirah Ahmad, 10, Izzatul Fatehah Ahmad, eight.
“Izzatul Shafika, who plays as a striker, is the best player in the team and looks set to make it into the national squad someday,’’ he said.
As a father and hockey enthusiast, Azman also has his three children Mohd Norizzal, 12, Nurnabilah Huda, 15 and Nurnazirah Husna, eight, in the centralised training team.
He said that TNB sponsored the entire training programme for the juniors that totalled about RM7,000 for the three days.