KUALA LUMPUR: Three senior national team players – Mohamed Haziq Shamsul, Meor Mohamed Azuan Hassan and Shahril Saabah – have been included in Malaysia’s final Under-21 squad for the Sultan of Johor Cup.
National Juniors coach A. Arulselvaraj named his final 18-man squad on Thursday. The tournament, which begins at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru on Sunday, is part of the team’s preparations for the Junior Asian Cup in Kuantan next month.
Arulselvaraj said he had to drop two regulars – Mohamed Sufi Ismat and Rafizul Ezry Mustafa – due to injuries.
“Sufi and Rafizul are experienced players, having played in last year’s tournament. They are down with hamstring injuries. We don’t want them to aggravate their injuries as we need their services for the Junior Asia Cup.
“The final 18 players we have selected is the best available. But it’s not the final squad for the Junior Asia Cup.”
Malaysia will play a friendly against Britain on Friday as their final run-up to Sultan of Johor Cup.
Malaysia, the 2011 champions, will kick-off their campaign on Sunday against Britain. The other competing teams are defending champions India, Australia, Pakistan and debutants Argentina.
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