SSTMI Thunderbolts may have been winning titles in the Milo Junior Hockey League consistently since 2010.
But that has not quenched their thirst in trying to win the Milo Cup when they line up against UniKL Young Guns at the National Hockey Stadium on Sunday.
Thunderbolts won both the league and overall titles in 2012 and 2013 and they are hoping for another double, their hattrick of sorts.
The two teams met in the league with Thunderbolts coming out tops with a 4-1 scoreline, three of the goals via penalty corners.
“We will be counting on our penalty corners to do the trick once again as we have two very effective penalty corner experts in Aminuddin and Najmi,” said Thunderbolts coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman.
“It has been a team effort so far with the forwards winning the penalty corners and the duo tucking them away.
“This takes the pressure off the strikers whose job now centers around winning us the penalty corners. But we can also score field goals.”
Their hopes were given a further boost when seven of their players were named into the national juniors training squad on Friday. The seven are Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Zain, Muhd Najmi Farizal Jazlan, Muhd Najib Hassan, Muhd Firdaus Omar, Mohd Sufi Ismat Rohulamin, Azril Misron and Muhd Amirol Aidee Md Arshad.
Another three players are also SSTMI products but play for other teams, namely Ahmad Ashraf Alias (UniKL), Mohd Azwar Abd Rahman (UniKL) and Mohd Ridzwan Azmi (Politeknik KPM).
For UniKL though, this is a perfect opportunity to ustage the favourites and grab the glory.
“WE are well aware of their ability to score through penalty corners and thus have to vigilant in our tackling and not commit fouls that will hand them an advantage,” said UniKL coach Mohd Rodhanizam Mat Radzi.
“They have a psychological advantage having beaten us earlier but other then using that as a motivator for my players, I will not read much into that defeat.
“It is the final and a totally different ball game. So really there is everything to play for and if we can contain them in the first half, we have a fair shot of landing the title.”
For UniKL skipper Nor Azrul Abdul Rahman, this is the third consecutive final that he will line up for UniKL against Thunderbolts in the MJHL.
And he has no intention of being on the losing side.
“We have to raise our game to be able to get the better of them and I know my teammates have the ability to do so,” said Azrul who is a product of a school with little hockey history SMK Jalan Peel.
“We are determined to win this time around and the two wins in the semis has given us the confidence.”
In the match to determine third placing, Olak-PKT will take on Petaling Jaya City Council, a battle between two Selangor teams.
3-4 th Placing
1600H – Petaling Jaya City Council v Olak-PKT
1800H – SSTMI Thunderbolt v UniKL Young Guns
(Matches at National Hockey Stadium 2)