U-16 hockey championship to start this Friday

Fifteen teams will battle for the National Sports Council (NSC) Trophy in the Under-16 hockey championship to be?held at two venues here from Friday until March 20.

Malaysia Hockey Federation (MHF) deputy president Nur Azmi Ahmad said the venues for the tournament were Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium in Lembah Pantai?and the Education Ministry Stadium in Jalan Duta.

“Thirteen state teams with the exception of Sarawak are in the fray together?with Royal Malaysian Police. Also making an appearance is Singapore while?Malaysian Armed Forces is the other notable absentee from MHF affiliates,” he?told reporters recently.

Nur Azmi said the teams have been divided into two groups and at the end of?the preliminary round, the top two teams in each group will play in the cross?over semifinals.

Group A comprises of defending champions Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor,?Malacca, Pahang, Polis DiRaja Malaysia (PDRM) and Sabah.

“Meanwhile Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, Penang,?Terengganu and Singapore will be in Group B,” he said.

Nur Azmi said a total of 53 matches including semis, 3rd or 4th placing and?finals will be played at both veneues.

He said one of the significant developments in this year’s championship was?that the two coaches of the teams in the final would be given the opportunity to?join the National Under-16 team as attachment coaches.

He said MHF will also select the trainees for the National Under 16 squad?from the tournament and they will participate in the qualifying rounds of the?Tun Razak Cup in April and May.

“The squad then will take part in the Four Nation Invitational in Manheim,?Germany from June 10 to 13. The other three countries in the fray are Germany,?Holland and Belgium,” he added.

– Bernama