Spirited but rusty – players struggle to get back to the grind

  • Hockey
  • Thursday, 02 Jul 2020

Work in progress: Nasihin says it will take a few weeks to get the national players into shape.

KUALA LUMPUR: The national men’s hockey team did not make a good first impression after resuming training in more than three months.

National assistant coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli said that the 31 players looked “rusty” although they were in high spirits at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

“There are a few who are having problems adapting to the first day of training. But I must say all of them are rusty as they have not trained or held a hockey stick for more than three months,” said the former international.

Nasihin added that there were two training sessions – one in the morning and another in the afternoon.

“Unfortunately, they can’t train together due to social distancing. We also cannot push them too early in training because they might get injured. They will start doing some light training as it will take them a few weeks before they can get back in shape.”

Nasihin and Mohd Amin Rahim are taking over the helm as national chief coach Roelant Oltmans, who arrived here from Holland on Monday, is under home quarantine for 14 days.

Oltmans had said that initially they need to build up the players’ strength, skills and finally play matches.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation vice-president Datuk Ahmad Nazmi Abdul Razak said that all the players would undergo swab tests next week.

“It’s good to see them back in training and we wish them all the best,” said Ahmad.

Ahmad added that the national players would be allowed to play in the Razak Cup (Sept 18-26) to regain their match fitness.

“The team have only one assignment this year – the Asian Champions Trophy (in Dhaka, Bangladesh) in November,” said Ahmad.

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