KUALA LUMPUR: New South Wales Institute of Sports, who are making their debut in the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) Under-21 tournament, have half a dozen players on the threshold of donning Australian colours in the World Junior Cup in 2005.
The New South Wales team arrived yesterday and they are the first Australian team to play in the tournament which begins at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow.
Their challenge will be led by Daniel McPhearson, who played in the last Junior World Cup in Hobart in 2001.
Besides McPhearson, they also have another calibre player in Darren Booth, who represented the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) in the playing tour of Europe last year.
Chief coach Larry McIntosh said that they have up to six players with the potential to play in the national junior team.
The team included Jeremy Walzak and Mark Paterson, members of the Australian Under-18 squad.
The four players have been called-up for centralised training with the Australian youth team next month, said McIntosh, after checking in at the Concorde Hotel with the team yesterday.
The reason we are here is to expose the players in their preparation for the Junior World Cup qualifier (in 2004), he added.
Besides New South Wales, Singapore are the other foreign team. The Aussies are drawn in Group B with runners-up Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang and Perlis.