KUALA LUMPUR: Terengganu are ready to put their faith in their juniors for the women’s Razak Cup hockey tournament, which begins at the KL Hockey Stadium today.
All 18 players in the Terengganu team will be from their Malaysia Games (Sukma) squad, including six who are studying at the Bandar Penawar-based Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI).
Terengganu coach Mohd Harun Al Rashid said that the Razak Cup outing would help provide valuable experience for the players in their bid to retain the Sukma title next year.
“These players need all the exposure they can get and the Razak Cup will be an ideal platform to start our journey,” said Harun, who was only recently appointed as coach.
“About six players competed in the first edition of the Razak Cup last year. This team is far different from the team who competed in the National League last year.
“My objective is to give the youngsters a chance to play against fancied teams and learn from this adventure.
“My focus is different. I want the players to be brave when facing tougher opponents.
“Be brave, take the knocks and learn from mistakes. That’s the only way we can improve and move forward.
“My decision has been well-received by the Terengganu Sports Council and Terengganu HA. We need to expose the youngsters as much as possible. It will only serve the state well in the future,” added the former Singaporean national player, who coached the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club for the 2016 MHL season.
Terengganu are in Group A with defending champions Pahang, Perak, Kuala Lumpur and Indonesia. The east coast side will take on Perak in today’s opening match.
Terengganu are so serious about giving their youngsters a chance that they even decided to exclude two national players – Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohamed and Fatin Naimah – from their team.
Rabiatul and Fatin will instead feature for Pahang in the Razak Cup.