Faizal ready to step up in Jong-hyun’s absence


Bigger goals: Faizal Saari (right) wants to win the MHL title for Terengganu this year.

PETALING JAYA: Striker Faizal Saari is ready to take over South Korean Jang Jong-hyun’s role as the top drag-flicker for Terengganu.

The 30-year-old will use the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) starting on March 11 as a platform to show that he can be the best in the country although it has never been his forte.

Last season, Faizal scored 14 goals but only two were penalty corners while Jong-hyun underlined his prowess as the specialist in the D-box by converting 22 out of 23 goals. The other was a penalty stroke.

Jong-hyun is not with the team this year and so, Faizal has the inevitable task to take the lead.

“I can’t deny that Jang’s absence will be felt. Whenever he takes a penalty corner, the percentage is high for it to go in. His shots are a beauty, ” said Faizal.

“I will now use this chance to score more goals from penalty corners.“I’ve scored more penalty corners with the national team, and I believe I can do it for Terengganu too.

“When we start training on Feb 27, I will practice more on the penalty corner shots.

Local player who is undoubtedly the best penalty corner taker is Razie Rahim.

Last year he scored 12 for Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) in the MHL and nine for Police in Razak Cup.

It would be interesting to see how Faizal and Razie fare based on penalty corners.

But Faizal is not consumed with an ambition to be the top scorer but he aims to win the title for Terengganu.

“I believe we have a squad capable of challenging for titles – either the league or TNB Cup. Individual honours will be a bonus, ” who trains under coach K. Rajan.

“Our coach has what it takes to guide us to win matches consistently and we believe in him and his tactics.”

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