National coach Paul Revington has been monitoring the TNB Malaysian Hockey League for the past three weeks and has given it the thumbs up from the competitive edge right to the ability of players and teams.And he reckons the keen competition is good for Malaysian hockey as the national players are provided with good matches week in and week out thus keeping them on their toes as the new list of national trainees will only be revealed after the MHL is over.
"I think the speed of all the games I have watched has improved , and I believe this is as a result of a few things. Fitrstly several teams feel they can win the event
"Secondly there is more equal distribution of the Malaysian senior squad players and a subsequent increase in quality foreign players.
"Finally several of the players have entered the MHL on the back of several months Senior squad training, Project 2013 training, MJHL or SASC , more for the foreign players," said Revington.
The South African also revealed that he was constantly on the look out for talented players to be called up for national training in the new list to be unveiled end of the MHL.
"There are several players who have "caught the eye" - but the key will be for these players to produce consistently strong performances throughout the MHL. Consistency is the key," added Revington.
"I must add taht the foreign players have added great value - even if they are primarily from one country."
Revington also made clear the schedule for the national players during the MHL as some felt that he was disrupting the preparation of the MHL teams by having players training during the MHL.
"The he Senior Squad were scheduled to get back onto the pitch this week (Tuesday and Wednesday) in smaller training groups - however I cancelled the sessions for this week. I am very sensitive to "over-training" the players when they are in their League season and if I am selecting a squad from the MHL I must give these guys the best chance to perform in the MHL games," clarified Revington.
"Watching the MHL the past few weeks I believe the squad need to continue to focus on their club performances and I don't want to compromise this (important) club performance quality.
"The Senior squad players are expected to attend twice gym sessions a week (on Tuesday and Thursday) at the ISN with Behrad Honer - compared to three sessions a week outside of MHL phase."
On the preparation of the national side for the World League Semis and the Asia Cup, Revington revealed that besides the matches against China in May, they were also looking at a playing tour in South Africa early June.
"The Tour to South Africa is by no means confirmed. We have meetings this week to finalize our lead up to WL3. I have requested to Tour South Africa between the dates 3-13 June. If we traveled to SA we would hopefully play 4-5 games and all played "up North" in Potchefstroom and possibly Johannesburg too,' said Revington.