KUALA LUMPUR: For junior hockey defender Muhd Amirul Hamizan Azahar, attack seems to be the best form of defence.
The 19-year-old Penangite netted a whopping 27 goals – 15 penalty corners, 10 field goals and two penalty strokes – to guide Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) from Johor to the double league and overall titles in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL).
He also finished top scorer.
Amirul’s outstanding displays have led many to tip him to be a future star with the national team.
But before that, his home state Penang are seeking his services again for the Razak Cup, which begins on Sept 20 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Amirul, who is pursuing pre-university studies at the SSTMI, will only join Penang for the Razak Cup after his Malaysian University English Test (MUET) examination on Sept 17.
Amirul, who helped Malaysia win their first-ever Youth Olympic Games gold in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last October, said nothing is going to stop him from playing in the Razak Cup.
“I’m honoured to be called up by my home state to play in the Razak Cup, which is the oldest tournament in the country. But I will only join the team two days before the tournament begins because of my MUET on Sept 17.
“I hope the team management will understand my situation as I need to prepare for the MUET test, ” said Amirul, who will feature for the third time for Penang in the Razak Cup.
He made his debut in the Razak Cup at age of 15 in 2015 and also played in 2016.
Amirul did not play in the tournament in 2017 because he was not released from his school. Last year, he opted out because of injury.
Eight teams will feature in Division One of the Razak Cup and the Islanders are drawn in Group B with Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur and Pahang while defending champions Perak are in Group A with Melaka, Johor and Police.
Amirul wants to make an impact in the Razak Cup by delivering goals from penalty corners.
“My mission is to become a national player and I’m on the right track but I need to show my talent in the Razak Cup.
“The Razak Cup will also be a good tournament to prepare for the Under-21 six-nation Sultan of Johor Cup (in Johor Baru from Oct 12-19), ” said Amirul.
The other teams in the fray for the Sultan of Johor Cup are defending champions Britain, Australia, India, Japan and New Zealand.
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