Asmawi Sulong, the head coach of defending champions SMK Bukit Nenas of Terengganu, is eager to keep up the momentum when they open their campaign this season with the Charity Shield tomorrow against SMK Mutiara Impian of Penang.
The Charity Shield is the curtain raiser to the Liga KPM this year which comprises of the Under-14 Minister of Education League Cup and also the U17 Ministry of Education League.
SMK Bukit Nenas had also in 2014 went on to win the doubles when they scooped up title in the U17 Ministry of Education League – becoming only the second team to do so after Kedah’s SMK Tunku Anum’s triumph with the doubles in 2010 and also 2012.
“We want to keep the momentum going for sure but at this time, we are just looking at this first game,” said Asmawi, after the team’s training session.
“We have lost some players from last season as they have been promoted to the higher league, so there are some new faces in the squad. But it is the same with the Penang team too, so we are not too worried.
“But for us to repeat the performance from last year, this first match will be important as we assess the strength of the other team.”
SMK Bukit Nenas had been in pre-season just at the start of January where they have also played several local matches to give further gleam to the squad that will open the season.
For SMK Mutiara Impian, they have begun their preparation in December as they attempt to make up for the disappointment from last season. The Penang side had not only lost the title to SMK Bukit Nenas in the final last year, they had also lost out in the Charity Shield at the start of the season.
“We will have another shot at the title again this year and we hope that we can take the Charity Shield first before we seriously make an assault for the overall crown,” added SMK Mutiara Impian coach Muhammad Rakhi Muhahmmad Saad.
“We have added drive to win the Charity Shield this time after losing out last year (to Gambang Sports School). We have brought in some quality this time round and the early preparation really helped.
“Now is a question to see how they perform under real competitive atmosphere which will be important.”
The MELC and 100PLUS Super Cup are among several youth programmes and competitions supported by 100PLUS, Malaysia’s leading isotonic beverage.
The others include the 100PLUS Malaysian Junior Golf Open and the 100PLUS National Junior Badminton Circuit. 100PLUS is recommended by the National Sports Council.
CHARITY SHIELD 2015 – 28 Feb
SMK Mutiara Impian Mini Stadium
SMK Mutiara Impian vs SMK Bukit Nenas, 4pm