KUALA LUMPUR: After languishing in Division Two of the Razak Cup hockey tournament for the last six years, Selangor are aiming for a top-four finish in Division One this year.
Selangor were demoted to Division Two in 2007 after finishing last in Division One. They managed to make the final in 2009, 2011 and 2012 but failed to win the title.
Last year, they finally gained promotion when they defeated Armed Forces 3-1 in the Division Two final.
Selangor are in Group A with defending champions Perak, Pahang and Negri Sembilan.
“Our main objective is to keep our place in Division One. We will try to finish in the top two of the group to qualify for the semi-finals,” said Selangor coach Nasir Maidin.
The team will be led by former international S. Bubalan. He has several experienced players – Mohamed Amerullah Aziz, Faizal Daud, Mohamed Redza Maadun and Mohamed Noor Faeez Ibrahim – to help him guide the younger set of players. Selangor also have two experienced goalkeepers in Mohamed Fairus Wanazir and Saiful Azhar Afandi.
“We do not have any current national players in our ranks.
Most of the players are from our Sukma squad. We are building this team for the future.
“The good thing is that most of the players have experience playing in the Malaysia Hockey League. We hope to take one match at a time and progress from there,” he added.
The Division One tournament starts on Sunday and Selangor open their campaign against Negri.
Three Division Two matches were played on the opening day on Friday with former Division One champions Terengganu whipping Police 4-1.
National striker Faizal Saari was the hero, scoring in the 35th, 59th and 67th minutes.
Ahmad Alif Nazaruddin scored the other goal in the third minute.
Police netted their consolation goal in the 51st minute through Mohamed Rizal Haniffa.