Thursday, 16 January 2014 | MYT 6:03 PM
Revington names seven players from junior squad for five pronged challenge
A file picture of national hockey coach Paul Revington. He has named seven players from the Junior World Cup team in his squad.
KUALA LUMPUR: Seven players, who featured in the Junior World Cup in New Delhi last month, are among 35 players named by national chief coach Paul Revington for five tournaments this year.
They are goalkeepers Hafizuddin Othman and Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri, defenders G. Kavin Kartik and Shahril Irwin, midfielder Mohd Azri Hassan and forwards Rashid Baharom and Mohd Shahril Saabah.
The seven, who played a pivotal role in helping Malaysia finish a creditable fourth in New Delhi, might get the chance to play in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from March 13-23.
A total of 44 players were called up for training last week and nine players were dropped after a week of fitness tests.
The players who were dropped are Amir Farid, Amirullah Zainol, Dedy Ariyadi, Jivan Mohan, Khairulnizam Ibrahim, Megat Azrifiq, Mohd Amin Rahim, Iderus Ali and Mohamed Noor Faeez Ibrahim.
Revington said that he has named 35 trainees as they have many tournaments this year.
“We have also arranged friendly matches and will utilise the players in rotation to get the best results,” said Revington.
“Now that the seven are with the senior training squad, they will get an equal chance to fight for a spot in the Azlan Shah Cup, Champions Challenge 1 in Kuantan (April 24-May 4), World Cup (in The Hague, Holland, from May 31-June 15), Glasgow Commonwealth Games (July 23-Aug 3) and the Asian Games (in Incheon from Sept 19-Oct 4).
“Our target will be the Asian Games, which offers a ticket to the Olympics,” said Revington.
Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) senior vice-presdent Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad said that they need to improve their ranking from 13th at present in the World Cup.
“Our target for the World Cup is to finish in the top 10 among 12 teams that will feature in the tournament in Holland,” said Nur Azmi.
The squad will return to training on Monday and they will play four friendly matches against a visiting China side from Feb 21-25.
The national team will also play other friendlies: Canada (March 6-9 in Malacca), Ireland series (April 26-May 4 at KL Hockey Stadium) and Dutch series (May 24-26 at The Hague).