Sixty players (30 boys and 30 girls) will be identified for the 1Mas Development Programme after nine days of action in the MHC-1Mas-Milo-KPM National Under-14 hockey tournament which begins tomorrow until Nov 27 in Kuala Lumpur.
1Mas Development Programme director, Tai Beng Hai, said players identified will be selected for various national camp trainings as they are expected to play bigger roles in representing not only their states in future age-group tournaments but also the country in international tournaments such as the Boys and Girls Under-18 AHF Cup.
“In terms of development we are looking at talented players as at this age group level they are not physically strong. There will be national camp trainings under 1Mas Programme and we have compiled a data base of all players since three years ago,” said Beng Hai at a press conference announcing the MHC-1Mas-Milo-KPM National Under-14 hockey tournament today.
The event was also graced by Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Chief Executive Officer, Logan Raj, Nestle Malaysia Assistant Manager Sports Marketing (Milo Business Unit) Lim Kerwin, MHC Competitions manager Brian Fernandez and MHC-1Mas-Milo-KPM National Under-14 Tournament Director, Bal Rao.
Logan also extended his appreciation to Milo for the support over the years in ensuring MHC’s Junior Development Programmes, particularly the 1Mas National Under-14 tournament, which has been a success.
“We are looking forward to seeing more talented players identified in this tournament. In the last two to three years we are seeing an estimated 60 per cent of 1Mas Development Programme players representing their respective states in the Malaysia Games. This is a total change from before where states would take players from sports schools,” said Logan.
“The 1Mas coaches have been doing a great job and we congratulate them for this good work. But all this will not be possible either without the support of Milo who has come forward to continue their sponsorship in these difficult economic times in the development of junior hockey. MHC would like to take this opportunity once again in thanking Milo for being with us,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lim disclosed that Milo’s sponsoring the MHC-1Mas-Milo-KPM National Under-14 hockey tournament is to the tune of RM100,000 which also includes trophies and medals.
“Milo is obligated in seeing the development of sports in our country including hockey. It is a great investment as this tournament has produced a lot of talented players and we are proud of it,” said Lim, adding that apart from hockey the health beverage company has been major sponsors of 23 other sports in the country.
The battle for supremacy in the MHC-1Mas-Milo-KPM National Under-14 tournament gets off Saturday with Sabah, the 2015 champions, taking on Perlis in the boys division while girls defending champions Kuala Lumpur play Perak.
Fifteen teams will battle for the boys’ title and 12 in the girls division. Matches will be played at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA) and Ministry of Education Hockey stadiums on Jalan Pantai in Bangsar.
In the Boys category, Sabah has for company in Group A Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perlis and Kelantan. Group B comprises 2014 champions Pahang, Perak, Sarawak, Kedah and Penang while Malacca, Johor, Singapore, Negeri Sembilan and Terengganu are in Group C.
In the Girls division, defending champions Kuala Lumpur, Kedah, Malacca and Perak are in Group A, Selangor Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and Penang make up Group B while Singapore, Sarawak, Kelantan and Johor are drawn in Group C respectively.
The top two teams from each group after the round-robin league matches qualify for the second round of the boys and girls competitions. They will be drawn into Group X and Y with three teams in each group. The winners of the respective groups will play in the Nov 27 final.
Fixtures - 19 Nov, 2016 (Saturday):
Boys Group A: Sabah v Perlis (KPM Pitch, 4.45pm); Selangor v Kuala Lumpur (KLHA Stadium, 4.45pm).
Group B: Perak v Kedah (KPM Pitch, 6.0pm); Pahang v Sarawak (KLHA Stadium, 6.0pm).
Group C: Johor v Terengganu (KPM, 7.15pm); Malacca v Singapore (KLHA Stadium, 7.15pm).
Girls Group C - Singapore v Johor (7.30am, KPM Pitch); Sarawak v Kelantan (KLHA Stadium, 7.30am).
Group A: Kuala Lumpur v Perak (KPM Pitch, 8.45am); Kedah v Malacca (KLHA, 8.45am)