Their aura of invincibility has been erased. And Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) now know they cannot let their guard down.
A 1-1 draw with Tenaga in the final Malaysia Hockey League match marred the runaway leaders’ perfect record and UniKL president and CEO Datuk Dr Mazliham Mohd Su’ud has told his players not to be complacent when they take on Maybank in the semi-final of the TNB Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.
UniKL, who started the season with the Charity Shield win over Terengganu last month, were crowned champions last week and are expected to swat aside Maybank whom they had beaten 4-2 and 4-0 in the league’s home and away matches.
“As champions, we must play like champions. UniKL’s target this season is to win all three trophies. We have come this far in realising our dream. UniKL’s unblemished record in the League speaks volumes of our strength, commitment and more importantly the professionalism in the team, ” Mazliham told a press conference after a victory luncheon.
“While I congratulate the players for their effort in winning the league, my biggest fear is complacency. We won the Charity Shield and the League title. The show must go on and there must be no room for complacency. Our mission is not over and I would like to see the players move a level up and reach the final of the TNB Cup and win it.”
Mazliham also praised the forward Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil who underwent surgery for a fractured jaw but bounced back just three weeks later to steer the team to the title.
“He approached us and said he wanted to play. We were worried about his injury but, after consulting the specialist who treated him, we allowed him to play… he has shown great character on his return and has scored seven goals.”
Meanwhile, UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj (pic) warned his players to not take Maybank lightly.
“It is all right to sit back and enjoy this moment and the players deserve it but our mission is just 50% completed. We have a lot of work to do still and it is not over yet, ” he said.
“But you must stay focused and enjoy your game with a deep sense of commitment… remember our mission is to win the TNB Cup now and we have to go in and complete that job.”