Syed hopes to sidestep injuries before Britain clash


  • Hockey
  • Thursday, 03 Oct 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: National hockey defender Syed Mohd Syafiq Syed Cholan is keeping his fingers crossed that he can stay clear of the crocked list.

The 24-year-old player from Ipoh, who is injury-prone, does not want to miss the Olympic playoff matches against Britain in London on Nov 2 and 3.

The Tenaga Nasional player suffered a left wrist injury during the Malaysia Hockey League season in March and skipped the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh in April after undergoing surgery.

During a playing tour of Europe in July, he suffered injuries to both his ankles and had to miss the four-nation tournament in Tokyo the next month.

Syed is among 21 players in the training squad and coach Roelant Oltmans will drop three players before he names the final squad for the playoffs.

Syed, who made his international debut at the Singapore SEA Games in 2015, said he has had enough of being on the sideline.

“The playoffs are the last chance for Malaysia to qualify for the Olympics and only the best 18 will get the nod.

“Although I’m prone to injuries, I hope I have impressed the coach enough with my past performances to earn a spot.”

He added that the backline need to buck up as they are the weakest link as proven during the playing tour of South Korea last week.

They played four matches against the Korean national side and won once (2-1), drew once (2-2) and lost twice (0-2, 4-5).

“The coach is now focusing more on the defenders. Hopefully, we can get our act right by the time we take on Britain.”

The other defenders in the squad are Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim, Sukri Abdul Mutalib, Faiz Helmi Jali and Mohd Najib Abu Hassan.

Malaysia will play one or two matches in Amsterdam before heading to London.

Malaysia have not qualified for the Olympics since Sydney in 2000.

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Syed Mohd Syafiq , hockey , defender

   

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