And young Syamil Azim Dzulkafly knows it all too well as he competes with the more illustrious strikers in the national hockey team.
To make coach A. Arul Selvaraj’s list of 25 players will be a long shot for the rookie but he is not about to give up easily.
The 21-year-old vowed to work extra hard and take the opportunity to learn from the strikers in the team, especially Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Ahmad Jalil.
“We all know how good Tengku is. He has been my idol since the day I took up the sport. He is skilful, energetic and hardworking. I hope to be like him one day,” said Syamil, who helped Pahang win the 2018 Malaysia Games (Sukma) silver medal.
“I want to show that with discipline and hard work, it can take me forward.”
Syamil, however, has his work cut out as he will be competing with the likes of Tengku, Mohd Haziq Shamsul, Mohd Azrai Aizad Abu Kamal, Faizal Saari, Mohd Nor Firdaus Rosdi, Mohd Shahril Saabah, Nur Rahull Hrshikesa Tatchana Murthy and Mohd Firhan Ashaari for a month before Arul decides on his 25-men squad.
In the Razak Cup, Syamil just scored one goal with Selangor but impressed coach Arul with his high work rate and his ability to open up spaces for his teammates.
“Arul told me that he hopes I can bring that same energy to the national team,” said Syamil.
“I will fight for the slot. I’m not here to make up the numbers. Furthermore, the experience playing with the other guys will be valuable.
“Whether I’m selected or not, I will continue to improve on my game.
“Age is on my side, and I know I can only get better.”