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Published: Thursday February 13, 2014 MYT 10:00:00 PM
Updated: Thursday February 13, 2014 MYT 9:56:24 PM

Hockey team given top-3 target in Azlan Shah Cup

Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim (right) in a file photo. He was named the best player at last year's Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. This year, he is down with a dislocated shoulder and is doubtful for the tournament.

Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim (right) in a file photo. He was named the best player at last year's Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. This year, he is down with a dislocated shoulder and is doubtful for the tournament.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have set a top-three target for the national team in the 30th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup which will be held in Ipoh from March 13-23.

The other teams taking part are world champions and world No. 1 Australia, South Korea (No. 7), Pakistan (No. 8), South Africa (No. 12), Canada (No. 16) and China (No. 25).

Four teams are ranked higher than 13th ranked Malaysia.

Malaysia have never won the tournament, which began in 1983.

The national team finished runners-up four times in 1985, 2007, 2009 and last year, when they lost 3-2 to Australia in the final.

MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said that he wants national chief coach K. Dharmaraj to name a strong team for the tournament.

“We have set a top-three target and we want them to achieve it. Dharmaraj can name a mixed team of juniors and seniors but the players must be able to give their best,” said Tengku Abdullah.

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup will be the first tournament for the national team this year.

There are 31 players in the training squad and Dharmaraj will name a squad of 18 players for the tournament based on their performances in the upcoming playing tour and friendly matches.

Fifteen players will head to Perth on Feb 19 to play six matches – two against the Australian High Performance team and four against the Western Australian team.

They will also play four friendly matches – two against China and two against Canada – before the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

Last year, three national players won the individual awards in the tournament.

Defender Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim was named the best player; S. Kumar the best goalkeeper; while forward Faizal Saari and India’s Rupinder Pal Singh were the joint top scorers with six goals.

But, it is doubtful that Razie will play in the tournament next month after he dislocated his shoulder while playing for Dabur Mumbai Magicians in the Hockey India League last week.

Tags / Keywords: hockey, Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, MHC, Malaysian Hockey Confederation, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah

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