MALACCA: Coaches Paramjit Singh and Rahim Omar are not taking any chances in their bid to help Malacca make an impression in the Malaysian Hockey Federation's (MHF) Under-21 tournament beginning at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow.
Chief coach Paramjit said that with matches being played daily in the preliminary rounds, the team with that “little extra” will go far and on that score he reckons Malacca will make it.
“We had a decent period of centralised training and played several friendly games in our build-up. Even early afternoon workouts were also included to improve the fitness level and I think we are ready to put up a good challenge.
“We have a bunch of players with fighting qualities. They are the type who will never give up when the chips are down. With several outstation players and national junior prospects in the squad, we are capable of going far,'' said Paramjit.
Beefing up Malacca's challenge will be former Pahang defender Mohamed Jeffrey Khamis and halves Mohamed Syarafi Khamis and Mohamed Amir from TNB. The duo were reserves in the Under-19 team who played in the four-nation invitational tournament recently.
Former TNB's forwards Norikram Sulaiman and Ahmad Anuar Shamkamar will give the extra bite in Malacca's attack. Experienced goalkeeper and former national junior Timothy Lopez is bound to boost the confidence of the defence.
Malacca are drawn in Group A with defending champions Kuala Lumpur, Armed Forces, Johor, Kelantan, Perak and Singapore while New South Wales Institute of Sports, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perlis and Selangor, the runners-up at Ipoh two years ago make up Group B.
Timothy Lopez, Azrul Abdul Latif, Mohamed Jeffry Khamis, Ahmad Tarmizi, Azmir Roslan, Mohamed Zulkefli, Mohamed Amir, Nor Hamizi Omar, Ramaraja Gopal, Shafiq Amir Kamaruddin, Norikram Sulaiman, Nazmi Kamaruddin, Mohamed Fazuan, Imran Ali, Mohamed Shafik Khamis, Ahmad Anuar Shamkamar.