Coach Arul still keeps faith despite injuries to veterans

Rising star: Striker Nur Rahull Hrshikesa Tatchana Murthy (centre) is one of the four uncapped players selected for the national squad.

PETALING JAYA: The walking wounded have made their way into hockey coach A. Arulselvaraj’s squad of 30 players.

Arul explained his actions by saying that the players don’t suffer long-term injuries and it would be a huge loss to drop the mostly experienced players.

Among them are Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Ahmad Jalil, Shahril Saabah, Mohd Haziq Samsul, Mohd Amirol Aideed Mohd Arshad and Mohd Hafiz Zainol.

“Although some of them are still under rehabilitation, I have belief in them. Haziq and Amirol are back in training but still 50-60% from full fitness, ” he said.

“I know Shahril, Tengku and Hafiz still have plenty to offer although they have yet to join training. Since we do not have any tournaments for the time being, it’s okay to give them time to recover.

“These are quality players and they would come back stronger which is good for the squad.

“Shahril is two weeks away from full training, Tengku will be back next week and Hafiz in a week or two. I’m giving these players a chance because they will not be out for long.

“I don’t want to let them go because we need their services and they are players with vast experience.”

Arul has also picked four uncapped players – goalkeeper Mohd Shafie Sahrom, defender Zulpidaus Mizun, midfielder Pavandip Singh and striker Nur Rahull Hrshikesa Tatchana Murthy.

“I like what I see from these four new faces. Their commitment and desire to move forward can be seen from day one, especially goalkeeper Shafie, who is brave and has a great physique.

“I also chose them based on their work ethics on and off the field. We looked at their determination and work rate throughout the three-week camp.

“I’m happy with the selection and looking forward to work with the newbies and the veterans. They’ve shown great motivation and discipline to be in the group.”

Among those dropped are two midfielders – seasoned campaigner Fitri Saari and Shello Silverius – but Arul said he would not close the door on them.

“They still have a chance to join us. Barring unforeseen circumstances, there’s the Malaysian Hockey League early next year. They can prove themselves there.

“For those selected, we will give them programmes to work on before they return to training on Nov 9. But that will depend on the Covid-19 situation.”

The squad

Goalkeepers: Mohd Hairi Abdul Rahman, Adrian Andy Albert, Mohd Shafie Sahrom, Mohd Hafizuddin Othman.

Defenders: Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim, Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil, Mohd Najmi Farizal Jazlan, Syed Mohd Syafiq Syed Cholan, Mohd Najib Abu Hassan, Syarman Mat Tee, Mohd Arif Syafie Ishak, Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Zain, Mohd Amirol Aideed Mohd Arshad, Zulpidaus Mizun.

Midfielders: Faiz Helmi Jali, Meor Muhammad Azuan Hassan, Mohd Ashran Hamsani, Nik Mohd Aiman Nik Rozemi, Pavandip Singh, Mohd Ramadan Rosli, Norsyafiq Sumantri, Mohd Hafiz Zainol.

Strikers: Faizal Saari, Mohd Shahril Saabah, Mohd Nor Firdaus Rosdi, Mohd Firhan Ashaari, Mohd Azrai Aizad Abu Kamal, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil, Mohd Haziq Samsul, Nur Rahul Hrisikesa Tatchana Murti.

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