Ismail Abu (right) has not trained since coming back from the World Cup in Holland and has been excluded from the national hockey squad for the Asian Games in South Korea next month. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: World Cuppers Ismail Abu and Hafifihafiz Hanafi are out of the Asian Games squad.
Forward Ismail has not trained with the national hockey team since Malaysia’s disastrous outing in the World Cup in The Hague, Holland, which ended on June 15.
Hafifihafiz, also a forward, suffered a shoulder injury during the World Cup. He underwent surgery recently and is not expected to recover in time for the Asiad in Incheon, South Korea, from Sept 19-Oct 4.
Two other World Cuppers – Mohamed Firhan Azhaari and Mohamed Shahrun Nabil – are also injured.
“Firhan’s injury (ankle) is not that serious. He should be able to vie for a place in the team. We are not too sure about Shahrun. He is receiving treatment for his knee injury and we will wait and see how it goes,” said national coach K. Dharmaraj.
Dharmaraj now has 30 players in the training squad. He said he will trim the squad to 20 on Monday.
“There is no point having such a big squad as we can only take 16 players to South Korea.
“We have a fair idea of the players we need for the Asiad and the list of 20 players will be finalised by Monday,” said Dharmaraj, who was lambasted after another poor showing by Malaysia at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Dharmaraj added that he would consider several players from the Glasgow squad for the Asiad.
It is believed the players under consideration are Baljit Singh, Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin, Meor Mohamed Azuan, Kevin Lim, Mohamed Rashid Baharom and Mohamed Azri Hassan.