PETALING JAYA: You’ve got to hand it to in-demand former national goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin. He has become the ‘ladies man’ when it comes to coaching in hockey.
Roslan has been the national women’s team goalkeepers’ coach since 2015. Now, he has been hired by the Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) Ladies team, who will be making their debut in the women’s league.
Despite his hands-on experience, a modest Roslan stressed that this is the first time he would be in charge of a women’s team in a tournament.
“I would like to thank the UniKL hockey management for having faith and trust in me. I feel honoured to be coaching their women’s team, ” he said.
It’s not that he can’t cut it with the men. The former World Cupper and Olympian guided Perak to the Razak Cup men’s hockey title by defeating Terengganu 4-2 in the final at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil three months ago.
“There’s a big difference in coaching the women and the men, but I’m ready for the challenge, ” said Roslan, who represented Malaysia from 1996 to 2015.
“I was coaching the Perak men’s team for the first time in the Razak Cup, and I did well to guide them to the title. Now, I ‘ve set a personal target to help UniKL lift one of the two titles (league and Vivian May Soars, overall cup) in the national league.
“Although we’ll be making our debut in the league, I have confidence in my players as we have a balanced team of seniors and juniors to take on the other five teams.”
The team started training a week ago, and Roslan said the players in the national training squad would join them next week. The women’s league starts on Jan 20.
“As it’s just a one-round league, every match will be crucial for us. We aim to play consistently well in every match, ” added Roslan, who featured in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
UniKL have roped in seven national players – goalkeeper Siti Zaila Nasir, defender Nuraini Abdul Rashid, midfielder Nur Hafizah Maznan and forwards Hanis Nadiah Onn, Nur Amirah Syakirah Zulkifli, Nor Atira Mohd Ismail and Khairunnisa Ayuni Mohd Shahruddin.
The team will also be powered by former national team captain and penalty corner specialist Siti Nur Amarina Ruhani.
The other teams featuring in the women’s league are overall champions PKS-Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten)-KPT, Blue Warriors, Mutiara Impian of Penang, Sabah and Young Tigress, who are also making their debut.
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