Mohamed Ramadan Rosli will have plenty of focus on the Razak Cup after he was dropped from the Asian Games squad.
KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur, parading a rather young team, face an uphill task in their search for their 20th Razak Cup title when the action gets under way in Kuantan.
KL, last year’s losing finalists, have included just three senior players in their ranks to spearhead the challenge.
Former national defender Mohamed Amin Rahim will lead the team as skipper. The other two are national players Mohamed Ramadan Rosli and S. Selvaraju.
Ramadan featured in the World Cup in June while Selvaraju was in action in the recent Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Both, however, have been dropped from the Asian Games squad.
KL coach K. Embaraj knows it will be a difficult task to win the title.
“That’s why we have not set any target for the team. This is a team for the future as we have the bulk of the Sukma players and a few from the national Project 2016 team. Rahim, Ramadan and Selvaraju will guide these youngsters and also provide the leadership needed in the team.
“Our initial plan is to make the semi-finals and then try to finish as high as possible,” said former international defender Embaraj.
This is Embaraj’s second run as KL coach. He was in charge last year, but KL lost 3-0 to Perak in the final.
The last time KL won the title was in 2011.
KL will once again depend on Rahim to provide the firepower in the penalty corner set pieces. They can also call on former national junior Mohamed Zulhairi Hashim to take the flicks as well.
KL will play Penang in their opening match in Group B of Division One on Sunday. The other teams in the group are Johor and Malacca.
Perak, Negri Sembilan, Pahang and Selangor are in Group A.
The Division Two tournament starts today. The teams competing are Armed Forces, Terengganu, Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Police.