Johor hope to change their fortunes in the veterans hockey tournament and have set a semi-final target in this year’s meet which begins at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru on Thursday.
The hosts have a poor record in the veterans championships but hope to break the jinx of not having gone past the group stages in the past.
However, with home-ground advantage Johor are looking at the bright side in this year’s nine-team tournament.
Johor are drawn in the four-team Group A and have last year’s joint champions Terengganu, Police and Perlis.
Group B has five teams – Pahang, joint champions last year, third placed Armed Forces, Negeri Sembilan (fourth last year), Selangor, and Perak.
Johor coach Gurmit Singh, a former international, has set the semi-finals as an initial target.
“We have a well balanced team but it is not going to be any easy against the rest of the opponents. Age is a big factor and the hot humid conditions could be a deciding factor depending on the time of the match,” said Gurmit a former international.
“To reach the semi-finals will be a big achievement itself. Teams like Terengganu, Pahang, Selangor, Armed Forces and Negeri Sembilan are seasoned participants and have always done well in the veterans tournament.”
Johor open their campaign against Perlis at 4pm tomorrow. BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
7.30am: Pahang versus Armed Forces
8.30am: N.Sembilan versus Selangor
9.30am: Terengganu versus Police
10.30am: Perak versus Pahang
3pm: Armed Forces versus Selangor
4pm: Johor versus Perlis
5pm: N.Sembilan versus Pahang
A. Forces versus Perak (Pitch 2)
(All matches at Pitch 1, Taman Daya Hockey Stadium, JB)