Terengganu’s Arif eyes challenging role in national team

Think big: Mohd Arif Syafie Ishak dreams of winning a trophy for Terengganu and becoming a penalty corner specialist in the national team.

PETALING JAYA: Young defender Mohd Arif Syafie Ishak has big dreams in hockey.

Not only he hopes to win a trophy with Terengganu in the Malaysian Hockey League, but the 21-year-old also wants to be one of the main penalty corner takers in the national team.

Arif, who played in the Junior Hockey World Cup last year, said he was up for the challenge against top senior takers like Razie Rahim and Faizal Saari. Razie, also a defender, is known for his drag flicking and set-piece prowess for Malaysia. Out of 285 caps, he has scored 107 goals, most of them from penalty corners.

Arif, fondly known as Ijau by his teammates, has so far played 13 times for the senior team. For the junior sides, he has played 34 times in various competitions and test matches.

In 2022, he hopes to get an opportunity to score penalty corner goals for the national team.

“This year, it’s about self-improvement. After my stint with the junior team, it’s time to make my presence felt in the senior environment. I want to increase my intensity in the game, fitness and yes, penalty corner abilities too,” said the Pahang born player.

“I’m now part of the national team training, so obviously, it is a step up from the junior squad. I’ve lots to learn, lots to prove. My dream is to be a top player in the nation one day.

“That’s why I am dreaming of winning a trophy with Terengganu, and also become the go to person for penalty corners – for club and country!

“Learning from the likes of Razie and Faizal is good, but I know I’ve to challenge them everyday in training to get coach Arul’s (A. Arulselvaraj) attention.”

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