KUALA LUMPUR: He didn’t need his usual morning alarm. Instead, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) midfielder Mohd Faid Farhadh Mohd Shah woke up to a flurry of calls and messages congratulating him on his call-up to centralised national training camp.
And the 22-year-old, who was last called up to the national Under-16 squad in 2013, was overwhelmed. He said he had not been expecting a call-up from national coach Roelant Oltmans.
The Sports and Recreation Education student at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), was not expecting to be in the team to prepare for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, which will start on April 11.
“I know it sounds cliched, but I am surprised. I was speechless when I saw the congratulatory messages and most of the WhatsApp groups that I am in were talking about my call-up, ” said the pint-sized Faid.
“I was only aiming to help UniKL win a treble because that was the team’s target this season. Getting into the 34-player list is a bonus.
“The coach has not called me yet because the name list was just released today (yesterday). I am really looking forward to doing my best in centralised training.”
Faid was one of the 11 new players to be called up. Of the 34, only 18 will be selected for the prestigious Azlan Shah Cup to be held at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh.
For Faid, getting into the 18-man list will require a player giving his all in training and also making a difference with their plays and commitment.
The former Maybank player impressed in the recently concluded Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) with his high workrate and never-say-die attitude.
His equaliser in the 48th minute was the impetus for his team’s comeback in the fourth quarter when they went from being 1-0 down to a 2-1 TNB Cup final win over Terengganu.
“This was my first season with UniKL, so to win the Charity Shield, League and the TNB Cup was immense.
“I also did not expect to score a goal in the final. If there is a clip of me scoring that goal, I would surely keep it for a lifetime.
“Coach Arul (Selvaraj) congratulated me over the call-up, and he knows I have the potential to go far in the game.
“I hope to improve and satisfy the expectations of friends and family.
“I started playing hockey when I was 10 and I played for Melaka’s age-group teams since I was 11. Since then, I have been playing for my state, and last year, I won the Razak Cup with Melaka.
“Now I am in the national team. The aim now is to ensure that I get called up consistently but the hard work must not stop. On and off the field, I need to take real good care of myself, ” he said.
The other UniKL players to be selected for the centralised training camp are goalkeeper Adrian Andy Albert, defenders Mohd Razie Abd Rahim, Mohd Najmi Farizal Jazlan, midfielder Mohd Marhan Abd Jalil, Mohd Ashran Hamsani and strikers Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil and Mohd Hafiz Zainol.
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