May Joel be fit again soon

Scary moment: Joel van Huizen being stretchered off during Maybank’s game against TNB-Thunderbolts. — Picture courtesy of Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC)

PETALING JAYA: It was a scary sight when Maybank’s Joel van Huizen collapsed in the match against TNB Thunderbolts.

He was rushed to the hospital but fortunately, the player is fine although he will miss the next match against UiTM tomorrow.

On Thursday, Maybank had beaten TNB Thunderbolts 5-0 but the joy was overshadowed by Joel’s sudden slump on the field.

Despite the initial panic, coach Azrul Effendy Bistamam is now just a relieved man.

“I panicked for a while when I saw Joel slumped on the ground but fortunately, the medical staff from the National Sports Institute (NSI) tended to him immediately, ” said Azrul.

“I was really worried because this is not the first time that he has collapsed during a game.

“If I am not mistaken, he also experienced the same during an international match in Bangladesh four years ago.

“He has received treatment and will be discharged from the hospital. He will join us in the sports bubble but will miss out on the game against UiTM on Sunday.

“I believe it’s due to fatigue, but our physio will assess the report from the hospital and see when he can play. For now, I am just glad that he is fine and will be joining us again.”

With a comrade down, one would have thought that Maybank would have struggled, but they were indeed in their element against the Thunderbolts as they showed remarkable defensive resilience and efficiency up front en route to their victory.

Veteran striker Hafifihafiz Hanafi and Amirullah Zainol scored a double each while Syamim Naim Abd Hamid netted the fifth goal in the 59th minute.

Azrul, however, is bracing for a tough time against UiTM.

“Seven of our former players are with them now. I’m sure the team will rely on them to understand our style of play. It will not be an easy game.

“It will be evenly contested. I told the boys to be on their toes and not give them lots of space. We have to forget about our first win, and start thinking about the other matches. The focus has to be there.”

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