PETALING JAYA: A lack of competitive matches is a worrisome factor for national hockey midfielder Mohd Ashran Hamsani.
Ashran says Malaysia are left behind compared to teams in Europe.
Countries like Belgium, Germany and Holland are seeing a lot of hockey action thanks to the FIH Pro League, which started in September.
Malaysia and several other Asian hockey teams, however, have yet to play in any competitive matches since March.
The next international tournament for the hockey team is the Champions Trophy which will be held in Bangladesh next year.
The 25-year-old Ashran hopes to make up for the lack of tourneys by raising the standard in training.
“We know some teams are competing in the Pro League while other international players are playing regularly in their domestic leagues, ” said Ashran.
“We lack matches, that is certain but my teammates and I have to make it up by giving our all in training sessions.
“I need to ensure that my fitness level is up. We have to be ready to hit the ground running when international competition returns.
Ashran is one of the 30 players retained for the second phase of national training and will compete with several other midfielders in the team for a place in the final squad for the Asian Champions.
Having impressed in the recent Razak Cup for Perak, the wily midfielder said he would use the second phase of training to improve certain aspects of his game.
“Competition for my position will be keen.
“I have to polish some part of my game and improve on the tactical aspect, ” he added.
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