PETALING JAYA: National hockey striker Faizal Saari (pic) hopes his short stint with Dutch club Schaer-weijde Heren 1 will strengthen his preparation for the World Cup and Asian Games campaign next year.
The club, who were recently promoted to the top division, signed the Terengganu player on a three-month contract as they look to bolster their forward line for the upcoming season.
Faizal will leave on Aug 8 to join pre-season training with his new teammates.
He is excited with the opportunity to help the team and also gain valuable experience to bring home.
“Obviously, I am excited to play in a new environment, and we all know the quality of the Dutch league. Plus, some of their teams play in the Euro Hockey League,” said Faizal.
“So that exposure is good for me. I will definitely learn a few things and hopefully become a better player.
“Whatever I do there, I will make sure that I’ll share my experience with our boys here.
“I always believed that being based overseas opens up your view of the game. I’m glad it came again as I prepare for the World Cup and Asian Games next year.”
This is not the first time Faizal has played abroad.
He turned out for Southern Hotshots in the Australian Hockey League in 2011 and Mumbai Magicians in the Indian Hockey League from 2012 to 2013.
Faizal will not be the first Malaysian to play in Holland.
Last year, former national juniors Ahmad Lufti Sam and Iskandar Farez Shah Zainal Abidin played for third division club Hattemse Mixed Hockey Club from Aug 31-Nov 22.