Sunday, 5 January 2014 | MYT 12:00 AM

Fitness key in hockey team’s hectic year

KUALA LUMPUR: A three-day physical test from Jan 10 will be crucial for players aiming to make this year’s national team.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are planning to recruit 35 players to join the squad. Training is expected to start on Jan 20.

“We used to have 25 players in the team. But we need to increase it to 35 as we have to compete in an unusual high number of tournaments this year.

“By having 35 players, we can rotate the squad and the players will get a break and recover. There are almost one tournament every month starting from March,” said national team manager George Koshy.

“As for physical test, it is a normal thing whenever we start our training phase.

“It is crucial in helping us to see how good the players’ current physical conditions,” he added.

The national team will kick off their season with the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in March. The following month, they will compete in the FIH Champions Challenge I in Kuantan.

Then comes the big one – the World Cup in Holland from May 31-June 15. In July, the Malaysians will play in the Commonwealth Games followed by the Asian Games in September.

“It is a heavy work-load for the players this year. All these tournaments are important for us and we want to ensure that we have the players in good condition for each assignment,” said George.

South African Paul Revington will continue to handle the team.


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