KUALA LUMPUR: The national hockey team have given their strongest indication of going for gold at next month’s SEA Games when they named three players who did not feature in June’s World Hockey League Semi-Finals.
Although Mohd Rashid Baharom, Joel van Huizen and Mohd Ramadan Rosli did not compete in the World Hockey League Semi-Finals in London, they have always been a part of the training squad.
They will replace Mohd Firhan Azhaari, Mohd Haziq Shamsul and Mohd Najmi Jazlan Farizal .
Firhan and Haziq have been left out of the SEA Games squad so that they will be fresh for the Asia Cup Challenge in October while Najmi is in the SEA Games indoor hockey team.
“We decided to rest a couple of players for the SEA Games and since Najmi is in the indoor team, we decided to take in another player (Joel),” said national coach Stephen van Huizen.
The national hockey team were given a boost yesterday when Tenaga Nasional gave each player RM2,000 for the fine performance in the World Hockey League Semi-Finals.
Malaysia finished fourth in London to qualify for the World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India, next year.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin also called on the national team to step up efforts to reach the top 10 in the world.
“It was a commendable performance by the national hockey team and I believe that with a little more work they can be among the top 10 teams in the world.
“There are four gold medals at stake in hockey (one each in men and women’s field and indoor hockey) for the SEA Games. We hope to see them achieve the full target to help the Malaysian contingent with their overall title,” he said.
Khairy, who welcomed any efforts to help the national hockey team, also called on Tenaga Nasional to continue providing financial aid to the MHC through various programmes.
THE MEN’S TEAM
S. Kumar, Mohd Hafizuddin Othman, Mohd Razie Abd Rahim, Mohamad Sukri Abdul Mutalib, Mohamad Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Faiz Helmi Jali, Mohd Azri Hassan, Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil, Mohd Fitri Saari, Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor, Meor Mohd Azuan Hasan, Joel van Huizen, Mohd Ramadan Rosli, Mohd Shahril Saabah, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Mohd Rashid Baharom, Nik Mohd Aiman Nik Rozemi, Faizal Saari.