PETALING JAYA: The cancellation of the Asian Champions Trophy may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
There is a possibility that the MHL could be moved to March as the Asian meet scheduled next month has been postponed to a later date.
The MHL was scheduled to start from Jan 14-Feb 20 while the women’s league was slated for Jan 20-Feb 20 but the hosts had to make alternative plans to host it in either July or August due to movement control order restrictions.
Terengganu captain Fitri Saari hopes that MHL organisers will take advantage of the March window to kick-start the league.
“The later we start the league, the tougher it will be for the players, ” said the 27-year-old midfielder.
“If we wait for longer, our performance would surely drop. We are still communicating via online, but nothing beats the feeling of being on the field. We want some action.
“All of us are eager to play. We miss the field and camaraderie among my teammates.”
Fitri said the Terengganu players have been keeping themselves fit by doing lots of jogging, and they diligently follow the programmes set by the club’s coaching staff.
“Based on the commitment shown by the players in training, I have a strong belief that we can win at least one title. If we get two, that’s a bonus, ” he said.
“Everyday we run for a distance of five to six kilometres, there is high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and also cycling. We’re keeping fit but it will be good to hold the stick and dribble the ball. That’s a different feeling.”
To assist Fitri, the club have strengthened the squad by signing Shello Silverius, Mohd Arif Syafie Ishak, Ismail Abu, Syarman Mat Tee, Akhimullah Anuar Esook, and Mohd Noor Firdaus Rosdi.
The team also have Fitri’s brother, Faizal. The others include Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor, Mohd Shahrun Nabil Abdullah, Mohd Sufi Ismat Rohulamin and Mohd Hafizuddin Othman.