KUALA LUMPUR (14 September, 2017): The third edition of the Junior Purple League (JPL) starts in just a few days and players who feel they have a future in the game will strut their stuff with the hope of being spotted by talent scouts who in turn will help them achieve their ambitions of becoming future professionals.
JPL2017 kicks off this Saturday (Sept 16) where junior players between the ages of 13 and 18 years will be exposed to high intensity competition as they look to emulate the likes of Goh Jin Wei, Lee Zii Jia and Leong Jun Hao who graduated from the JPL after playing in the first two editions and now regulars with the national squad.
The junior league, which will be played over three weekends, will not only see talented Malaysian youngsters in action, but will also have youngsters from China, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Myanmar and Laos battling each other.
Dato’ Jack Koh, Chief Executive Officer of Purple League (M) Sdn Bhd intensely believes that a league like the JPL is vital for the grassroots development of badminton in Malaysia.
"The JPL serves as a safety net for up-and-coming players who have not been selected for their respective state teams which have a limited number slots for each tournament and only carry out selections once a year. The JPL also allows the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to select players from a larger pool for age group tournaments and is the backbone to its development plans,” he said.
"Most of the clubs competing in the JPL will be parading players who have started from scratch but have benefitted tremendously from their respective coach's hard work and dedication. When a young player develops into a seasoned professional, it gives his coach great satisfaction, it's a feeling money cannot buy. These clubs have really sacrificed a lot of time to groom and educate its players,” added Dato’ Jack.
Last season’s Division 1 Champions, Petaling Badminton Club (BC) will be looking to clinch the title for a third straight time as they go head-to-head against the likes of Ampang Jaya BC, Rawang BC, Kepong BC, Petaling Jaya BC, Puchong United BC, Serdang BC and recent promoted sides Bandar Maharani BC and Cheras BC.
In Division 2, three new clubs - Ayer Itam BC, Bukit Gambir BC & Amanjaya BC - will looking to prove they belong in the JPL and will be aiming to upset more established rivals like Bangsar Hawks BC, Bukit Cheras BC, Desa Petaling Eagles BC, Georgetown BC, Subang BC, Tebrau City BC and win promotion to Division 1.
All 18 teams will play three legs at Sports Arena Puchong with the first on September 16-17, the second on September 22-23 and the final leg on September 30-1 October. The winners of both divisions will be crowned at the conclusion of the final leg.
With an abundance of raw talent itching to show off their skills, and the more experienced players raring to continue from where they left off in the last edition, JPL2017 definitely promises keener competition and the fans can look forward to lots of thrills and spills, while the BAM can use this great opportunity to spot players with the potential to don national colours in the future.