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Wednesday November 7, 2012

Proving them wrong

Target in mind: Mohd Firhan Ashaari, who was dropped from the national squad, aims
to show his true ability at the Sultan of Johor Cup. Target in mind: Mohd Firhan Ashaari, who was dropped from the national squad, aims to show his true ability at the Sultan of Johor Cup.

KUALA LUMPUR: Forward Mohd Firhan Ashaari is hoping to take out his frustration at being dropped from the national hockey training squad by showing his true colours in the Sultan of Johor Cup which begins at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru on Sunday.

The 19-year-old Firhan, who has 21 caps, will be making his debut in the tournament with the Project 2013 squad.

He missed out last year as he was with the national team at the Champions Challenge I in South Africa.

Firhan, who will lead the attack and be the key penalty corner flicker for the Project team, described last year as “splendid” after making his debut with the national team as an 18-year-old.

“But I failed to impress new national coach Paul Revington in the MHL (Malaysia Hockey League) and wasn’t called up for national training this time,” said Firhan, who scored 10 goals for Tenaga Nasional in the MHL.

“It’s quite frustrating to be sidelined but I promise to give my best in the Sultan of Johor Cup.

“Project 2013 coach K. Dharmaraj is banking heavily on me as I’m the key forward in the team. I won’t let him down.

“However, it’s going be a challenge to deliver penalty corner goals because this is the first time I’ll be taking the drag flicks.

“It’s also going to be tough defending the title as the teams are stronger and better prepared this time.”

Besides Firhan, the other penalty corner flickers in the team are G. Kavin Kartik, Mohd Zulhairi Hashim and Mohd Shahril Saabah.

The national team for the Champions Challenge I tournament in Argentina from Nov 24-Dec 2 will be named by Revington today.

The national juniors will play friendlies with Germany and New Zealand on Friday and Saturday respectively before their opening Sultan of Johor Cup match against five-time world junior champions Germany on Sunday.

The other teams in the fray are Australia, New Zealand, India and Pakistan.

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