PETALING JAYA: Young national hockey midfielder Shello Silverius has had an eventful year.
The 22-year-old Sabahan survived a Covid-19 scare when he tested positive in February and then went on to earn his first international cap in September.
And all Shello wants for Christmas today is to be a better player and one that would be of great use to Malaysia.
“Even during this festive season, I won’t neglect my duties as an athlete.
“I still go to the gym for strength training and do lots of cardio to maintain my fitness.
“My mission is to help Malaysia be one of the best hockey nations in the world,” said Shello, now in his hometown Keningau to celebrate Christmas.
“Usually on Christmas day, we exchange gifts and have a big dinner with all the relatives.
“But this time, we have to tone it down because of the pandemic. We hope the celebrations will still go well for everyone.”
Shello added that despite the pandemic scare, he is happy with how his career has progressed – especially winning his first national cap against Ireland in the United Kingdom tour three months ago.
From 2017 to 2019, he played for the junior and indoor team, with whom he won 18 and 12 caps respectively.
Since 2019, he had been part of the centralised national training but never got a chance to earn his first cap due to the coach’s preference for senior players and also the pandemic, which affected the international fixtures in 2020.
This year, Shello impressed for Terengganu in the Malaysian Hockey League and was picked to play for the seniors in the friendlies against Japan and England in April.
He deservedly earned a spot for the UK Tour, where he won three caps in test matches against Ireland and Wales.
“I would say it’s my best year. I must thank the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) and the national team management for believing in me.
“The UK tour was an eye-opener because it was my first senior outing overseas,” added Shello.