KUALA LUMPUR: National hockey coach K. Dharmaraj has challenged his players to step up their game in the series of friendly matches against China if they want to make the squad for the Champions Challenge I tournament in Kuantan from April 26-May 4.
The national team got off to a perfect start in the series when they edged China 2-1 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.
Malaysia’s goals were scored by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (penalty corner) and Ismail Abu (field).
Dharmaraj has called on his boys to use the five remaining friendlies against China to impress him.
“We have a big pool of (29) players and I need to pick the best 18 for the team. I’m looking at the mobility and versatility of the players in different positions before finalising the squad.
“I will play a mixed side in the friendlies and the last two mat- ches in the series will be for the players who have a 50-50 chance of making the final squad,” he said.