Luke warm response for2019 MHL

Contrary to what has been said and speculated, only eight trans will participate in the combined leagues of Malaysian Hockey next season , 219.

And it is really a bitter blow for the sport as instead of growing, making changes for the better, the dwindling number of trans participating shows that it was all talk over the past few years to have a world class league.

Before the powers that be go on to claim that it’s a question of quality rather then quantity, let’s look at the eight trans that have confirmed participation.

The usual suspects are in – Terengganu Hockey Team, Maybank, Tenaga Nasional, Thunderbolts, UniKL plus trans like UiTM, Nur Insafi and Penang HA – MSPP.

However there are indications that Penang might withdraw and this was confirmed by an official late last night.

In 2016, there were 6 trans in the Premier League, 8 in Division One and 5 in the Women’s League.

For the 2017 season there were 8 teams in the Premier, 8 in Division One and 6 in the women’s league.

And for this season, 2018 the numbers were 6 for Premier, 13 in Division One and 7 in the Women’s League.

The dwindling numbers and lack of interest only goes on to show one thing- that there has been no innovative ideas to hold a league that is sustainable and competitive let alone financially viable as well as of interest to corporate sponsors.

This lately boils down to the uneven playing field and the lack of promotion of GHD game.

By financing state leagues, one would expect more teams from the various states to play in the MHL, but this in turn ended up counter productive as most state leagues are haphazardly run , with only one focus, to hold it, finish it fast and try save as much of the grant awarded by the parent body,

Some states hold leagues for age groups this further compounding the matter.

Things however was different in the 80’d and 90’s when teams from many states participated and used the MHL to build formidable teams for national competitions as well as expose and develop players.

Having a combined Premier and Division One competition has also contributed to the lack of interest as the teams feel that will end up as punching bags.

Anyway the damage has been done and the leagues are set to start in January.

A case of penny wise and pound foolish – the change of format.