KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will use the two-match series against Singapore this weekend to finalise their men’s indoor hockey team for next month’s Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
“Singapore asked us for a two-match series in Kuala Lumpur and we have agreed to their request. We will play the matches this Saturday and Sunday,” said national coach Mohamed Amin Rahim.
Former Malaysian international Reduan Ponirin is the Singapore coach.
Amin added: “I’ll name our final 12-man team after the two matches. We have 18 players now and need to trim down to focus on our final preparations.”
To beef up the team, Amin has called up three national outdoor hockey players – goalkeeper Hairi Abdul Rahman, defender Mohamed Najmi Jazlan and midfielder Syed Shafiq Syed Cholan – for the Games.
Najmi, a penalty corner specialist, was a member of the team that played in the recent World Hockey League Semi-Final in London. Malaysia finished fourth to qualify for the 2018 World Cup Finals.
“We are depending on Najmi for the penalty corners. He has good technique and power in his flicks. I’m sure he will be an asset to the team,” said Amin.
Indoor hockey is being staged for the first time with six teams – Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam – in the fray.