Bandar Penawar (3 Nov, 2016): TNBMHL 2016 President’s Cup champions Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) and Anderson School made triumphant starts on day one of the TNB Thunderbolt Cup at the Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School Hockey Stadium in Bandar Penawar today.
BJSS Thunderbolt defeated Pahang Sports School Thunderbolt 4-0 and Anderson Thunderbolt posted a 3-0 win over the inexperienced Singapore Development squad comprising mostly of Under-16 players.
Mohamed Adam Daniel opened score for BJSS in the 11th minute via a field goal and Muhammad Khairuddin Zulkifli increased the lead two minutes later from a field goal set piece before Muhammad Ramdan Ariffin made it 3-0 at half time from a penalty corner and Md Zulrasyad Hilmie sealed the fourth goal in the 38th minute.
“Most of our senior players are not available due to the upcoming SPM examination and we have brought in several Under-16 players who are badly in need of this experience,” said Pahang Sports School Thunderbolt Programme coach Mohd Sufian Muhammad.
“It was a good game from the younger boys as they displayed courage and good understanding against their opponents who were older and more experienced,” he added.
Hazrul Hazraf scored a brace for Ipoh-based Anderson in the 37th and 38th minutes from penalty corner and a field goal respectively against the Singaporeans who view the Thunderbolt Cup as a timely gift towards their development programme.
“This team was supposed to compete in the Under-18 Asia Cup but due to the changes in venue and dates in Dhaka in October this year most players could join the team due to examinations too hence we did not compete.” said Singapore Development coach, Mohamed Farhan, who played in the 2015 SEA Games.
“They have only been playing among themselves in the last few months and this is their first big event playing against strong Thunderbolts sides. It was their first game and I believe we should be able to overcome this situation in the next few matches,” added Farhan. “They are learning from mistakes created today and we hope to see an improvement tomorrow.”
Former Malaysian international, K. Rajan, who has been appointed Singapore senior team coach, was also on the venue keeping a brief watch on the performance of the development squad
In conjunction with the 2016 Sultan of Johor Cup, the inaugural Thunderbolt Cup is held from 3rd – 6th November 2016. The main objective and idea for this four-day invitational tournament is to serve as early for TNB’s development teams and identify new talents.
Apart from the four Thunderbolt teams sponsored by TNB – BJSS, Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI), Anderson and Pahang Sports School, the other teams competing are Sabah Sports School, Johor Sports School, Selangor, and Singapore Development Squad.
Fixtures – Tomorrow (4 Nov, 2016): SSTMI v Singapore Development Team (7.30am); Anderson v Johor Sports School (8.30am); Pahang Sports School v Selangor (9.30am); BJSS v Sabah Sports School (10.30am).