No games, it’s real work for hockey striker Akhimullah


  • Hockey
  • Thursday, 16 Apr 2020

PETALING JAYA: Just like any other teenager, national hockey player Muhd Akhimullah Anuar Esook loves playing mobile phone games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) when he is free.

During the movement control order (MCO), the Tenaga Nasional playerhas plenty of tie playing the game where he can hide behind trees and cut down any number of opponents with multiple weapons.

His father Anuar Esook Abdullah, however, has other ideas.

The older man is making his son do household chores. And also help him cut down trees and branches around their village area in Kemaman, Terengganu.

With less than two weeks before he turns 20 on May 2, Akhimullah is beginning to embrace adult life thanks to his father’s tutelage and also understand the true value of family.

“Every evening, I will do my workouts based on the programme given by the national coaches. That is a must in my daily routine, ” said the youngster, who made his debut for Malaysia last year during the European tour.

“At night, I spend time with my family by having dinner together, watching a movie and chatting about our daily lives. It has been a while since I have been in this environment. All this while, I have been busy with training and games.

“Also, I help my father to do some household work, such as cutting down branches of our trees. He is guiding on some things and those lessons can be brought into my game too.”

This year, Akhimullah scored 10 goals for Tenaga Nasional in the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) and was called up to the national centralised training squad in February. The training was disbanded due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Akhimullah had wanted to impress coach Roelant Oltmans and show that he was man the national team needed in its strikeforce but that has to wait.

The Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) pre-university student said it was not the time to think about his hockey, as the nation grapples with a deadly disease.

“Obviously, the health and safety of everyone come first. The MCO should be taken positively, instead of lamenting that we cannot do this and that.

“We are still able to train in our homes and have a good time with the family. Savour the time with them, and just have positive thoughts.

“Right now, I just want to savour my time with my loved ones. Usually, I am busy with classes, matches and training and those times, I yearn for my family. This is the best time for me to be with my family.

“I hope this situation subsides so we can get back to our normal lives. I would like to thank the front liners, who are working day and night to keep us safe and healthy at all times. Let us all pray and hope that this ends soon.”

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