Young Pavandip has fight on his hand to win spot in national team


In with chance: Pavandip (right) will definitely fight for a place in coach A. Arul Selvaraj’s team.

PETALING JAYA: It’s never too late for Pavandip Singh (pic) to make a name for himself in hockey.

Pavandip is one of the 38 players selected for the national centralised training camp based on his strong performances for Kuala Lumpur in the Razak Cup last month.

The talented midfielder, who played a vital role in Kuala Lumpur’s third-place finish in the Razak Cup, could have made the national squad earlier if not for his decision to give his undivided attention to his studies.

“I was in Malaysia’s Under-16 squad that went to Mannheim, Germany in 2016 but after that, I pulled out from the squad as I had to focus on my studies, ” said the 20-year-old, who is a Civil Engineering student at the UCSI University.

Now, he is happy to be given another chance to make the national squad.

“I’m thankful to the coaches for choosing me for the national senior team for the first time, ” said Pavandip, who played for Butterfly Roma HCC in the Italian Seria A League from September to November last year.

“I’m not as fast and as skilful as other players but I’m hardworking.”

Pavandip will be competing for a place in midfield with Faiz Helmi Jali, Meor Muhammad Azuan Hassan, Mohd Ashran Hamsani, Nik Mohd Aiman Nik Rozemi, Fakhri, Mohd Hafiz Zainol, Shello Silverius, Norsyafiq Sumantri, Mohd Ramadan Rosli, Harvinder Singh and Mohd Faid Farhadh Mohd Shah.“Others are experienced and I hope to learn from them. I’ll work harder and improve my game as much as I can on the field for the next one month, ” he said.

“I am new to the squad, and to fight for a place in the final 25, I’ll need to put in the extra effort.”

National coach A. Arul Selvaraj has named 10 other new players in the squad and they are goalkeepers Mohd Shafie Sharom, Mohd Hafizuddin Othman; defenders Zulpidaus Mizun, Syarmann Mat Tee, Mohd Azri Hassan; midfielders Mohd Ramadan Rosli, Mohd Fakhri Ardillah, Harvinder; and strikers Nur Rahull Hrshikesa Tatchana Murthy, Syamil Azam Dzulkafly.

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