Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) captain Muhammad Marhan Mohd Jalil has urged his teammates to move into top gear when the 2018 overall champions go up against Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on Friday and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) two days later in the second round of the Malaysian Hockey Premier League.
“We will be playing two tough matches in three days with very little rest and I want the players to focus on these games,” said Marhan, who is one of three current national players in the side apart from Muhammad Sukri Abdul Mutalib and Muhammad Razie Abyul Rahim whilst two other former internationals are Baljit Singh Charun Singh and Harvinder Singh Makbul Singh.
“So far it has been a good run for the team. I don’t want to look at the league title at all as it is still an open game. We have five more matches on the fixtures. As the coach (Arul Selvaraj) said there must not be any slip ups and our focus should be in winning every match,” he added.
“My message is also clear. Let’s get the job done as quickly as possible, remain calm throughout these matches and stay focus until the final hooter,” said Marhan. “Every match is going to be tough.”
UniKL currently lead the pool with 19 points followed by TNB (18 points) and Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) in third position (13) while Maybank are fourth with 12 points from seven matches.
Sungai Petani-based Nur Insafi (4 points), UiTM (3) and TNB Thunderbolts (1 point) are a distance away.
Defender Baljit, however, has to serve a one-match suspension for accumulating 8 demerit points following two green cards and a yellow in the league. He will not feature against UiTM.
UniKL, lamented Marhan, will need to capitalise on the experience of the Dutch connection in the side – Robbert Kemperman, Valentin Verga and Martijn Havenga, Kieran Govers and Timothy Deavin of Australia, and goalkeeper David Harte of Ireland alongside an extremely powerful local outfit to hold fort against UiTM and TNB.
For the record, UniKL could only post a 2-1 victory over UiTM in the absence of five foreign signings than and registered a 3-1 win against defending league champions TNB respectively in the first round.
Meanwhile, forward Faridzul Afiq Mohd is all-fired up in search of more goals after ending his jinx of a barren run with a 49th minute goal that saw UniKL triumph 3-1 against Nur Insafi.
“I am not over yet and have been searching for more goals since our match against Nur Insafi. I really want to score on Friday against UiTM and move on from there,” he said.
“The feeling is always great if I can help score and contribute towards the team’s success. It also motivates me.”