Zaimi eyes national training – to prepare for Razak Cup

  • Hockey
  • Friday, 26 Jun 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: There are no competitions for the national hockey team this year but goalkeeper Mohd Zaimi Mat Deris is still counting the days to July 1 when he can resume training.

The Terengganu star wants to be back at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil to start preparing for the Razak Cup which will be held from Sept 18-26.

It will be a welcome return to the Razak Cup for the 22-year-old. Last year, the national players were barred from playing in the tournament as they were preparing for the two Olympics qualifier playoff matches against Britain in London.

“This year, there are no tournaments for the national team and we will be allowed to play for our respective states.

“I am very excited to return to training with the national team. I feel bored training at home for more than three months,” said Zaimi.

The other goalkeepers called up for national training are Mohd Hairi Abdul Rahman, Adrian Andy Albert and Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri.

Maybank employee Zaimi, who is the least experienced with just two international caps, said the keeper’s pads would weigh heavy on him now after three months.

“But I should get used to it in a few weeks before the Razak Cup starts.

“I last played for Terengganu in the tournament in Ipoh in 2018 and I hope to help my state win the title this year,” said Zaimi, who helped Terengganu win the Razak Cup Division Two title in Kuantan in 2016.

There is a change in the Razak Cup format this year as there will be no two divisions but will be divided into two or three groups, with seeded teams heading each group.

MHC competitions committee chairman Datuk Seri Anil Jeet Singh said they have sent letters to all states on Tuesday asking for bids to host the tournament this year.

“We are expecting all states to feature in the annual tournament,” said Anil.
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