Puchong United BC is ready for the SS Purple League (SSPL) 2016/17 Stage 2 challenge despite the possibility of being without the services of Malaysia’s top mixed doubles player, Goh Liu Ying.
Liu Ying has had recurring injury to her knees and is recovering, which might put her out of action for a while.
Puchong United manager Irina Inozemtseva is desperate for Liu Ying to play a part in their title quest when the SSPL 2016/17 Stage 2 resumes on Feb 9.
However, she conceded that her player’s health is priority.
“Liu Ying is still recovering after taking some jabs and it will take some time for her to fully heal.
“We will not rush her recovery and have been in constant contact with BAM to get updates on her progress as we want to make sure she gets back to full fitness,” said Irina.
“What’s most important now is for her to heal 100% and resume contributing to her country in major international tournaments,” the Russian added.
Despite Liu Ying’s possible absence, Irina is confident that her Puchong United team had enough firepower to win their first SSPL trophy.
“Liu Ying’s absence will definitely impact our team but we have already made arrangements to beef up our squad with quality players during the recent transfer window as we did not want to gamble on Liu Ying’s fitness,” she said.
Puchong United maximised the recent transfer window ruling of five changes per team by bringing in current World Number 1 Tai Tzu Ying from Taiwan, China’s Hui Xirui, one half of the current World Number 2 women’s doubles and current World Number 4 mixed doubles Christinna Pedersen and local players Soo Teck Zhi and Tan Chee Tean.
“We have brought in players who will help boost us as the level of competition is increasing each year and all teams are equally strong.
“We have brought in Hui Xirui from China and Christinna from Denmark who played for us last year as well,” said Irina.
The Dane’s addition will no doubt be beneficial for Puchong United as she will be a direct replacement for the injured Liu Ying.
Commenting on her next opponents Ampang Jaya BC, Irina said her team will be in for a tough ride despite Ampang Jaya not making any significant changes to their team for the knockout stage.
“In the knockout stage, to me there will never be an easy game as all teams will go all out for the win.
“There will be pressure on both teams despite us having the more famous names in our squad.
“Whoever handles the pressure well on that day will be favourites to progress to the next round,” said the team manager.
The final stage will be played at the Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting from Feb 9 to 12.
The top six teams from Stage 1 will fight for a chance to lift the SSPL trophy while the bottom four teams will play each other in playoff matches to determine their final positions.