KUALA LUMPUR: All eyes will be on defending champions KL Hockey Club (KLHC) in the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division which has attracted six teams.
They will open against rivals Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) in Friday's Premier League-cum-Charity Shield match in Kuala Terengganu.
It will not be easy for KLHC as THT were unbeaten at home last season.
KLHC coach Lim Chiow Chuan hopes the penalty shootout win over THT in last weekend's Alagendra Cup final will spur his players to another majestic display in the match.
"My players showed great fighting spirit and composure in the Alagendra Cup final and I want them to continue the momentum," said Chiow Chuan.
“That win is a huge motivation and it shows that my team have character.
“We are not there yet in terms of performance but we are certainly progressing towards that direction.”
KLHC were down 2-0 in the first quarter before ending the Alagendra Cup final against THT at 3-3 in regulation time. Chiow Chuan's side won 4-3 in the shootout for the title.
"My players are interacting well on and off the pitch. After three matches (in the P. Alagendra Cup) they are beginning to understand each other better” said Chiow Chuan.
KLHC have six foreign players who are assisted by a host of current and former Malaysian internationals.
"We need to minimise defensive errors and not give soft penalty corners away,” said Chiow Chuan, who is wary of THT's ability from setpieces.
The coach is also aware that it will be tough to remain consistent throughout the season due to the congested fixtures.
“Playing 16-17 matches in five weeks will be tough for the players.
"We will definitely see the effects of it in the fourth week," he added.
MHL's Premier Division
THT v KLHC (Batu Burok Hockey Stadium, 4.45pm)
TNB Thunderbolts v Maybank (6.30pm)
UniKL v TNB (8.30pm)
* matches at Pitch Two of the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil unless stated