PETALING JAYA: National hockey coach S. Arul Selvaraj has advised players dropped from the current training squad not to despair as they are still in his plans for the future.
Arul’s coaching team have to trim the squad from 37 to 25 for the final phase of training in preparation for the Asian Champions Trophy which will be held in Bangladesh in March next year.
For a month, the players trained at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil but when the conditional movement control order (CMCO) was imposed in the Klang Valley on Oct 14, all the players had to stay at the National Sports Council (NSC) and only trained in small groups.
Arul said he still had time to assess the players who have all shown good potential and thus it is not an enviable task to drop some players.
“It is not my style to divide between seniors and juniors. For me, when you are in the national squad, you’re a national trainee. I do not like to split.
“Right now, our planning has changed. We were supposed to have six sparring matches among ourselves but we have only played three so far.
“I have the information that I need from these three sparring games and also learnt about the boys from the field sessions.
“What’s saddening for me is that I have to omit some players who have the potential.
“I will make sure that I sit down and talk to them before they are released, ” said Arul.
Arul assured those dropped that they will not be forgotten. In fact, he has advised them to strut their stuff in next year’s Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) to get a recall to the national team.
“I would urge them to continue training and will also ask our physiologist Carl (James) to give them proper programmes, such as gym and running sessions.
“This is to ensure that they maintain their form in the Malaysian Hockey League next year. Also, the league next year would allow me to re-evaluate them and bring them back into the squad.”
Did you find this article insightful?