KUALA LUMPUR: Last September, he was in the team that won the Under-19 international invitational tournament in Poland. But since then, B. Chandramohan has been out in the cold. He was not even in the training squad when the Under-19 team reassembled in January this year.
But, in a surprise move, the Uniten student has been picked for the national senior teams training squad.
Chandramohan himself was as shocked as anyone else, and he hopes to use the opportunity to win a place in the first team of the junior side.
The last thing I expected was a call-up to the senior national team. It is everybodys dream to be a national player and Im also keen to make the grade one day.
But a call-up at this stage, after being left out of the Under-19 team, is a big surprise. I will answer the call-up even if it is just for a chance to train with the seniors.
Chandramohan is doing an electrical engineering course at Uniten. Earlier this year, he played for Tenaga Nasional in the MHF-Milo-NSC-Admiral Malaysia Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and won the overall title with them.
He said his fortunes had changed when Tenaga took him on for the MJHL. Before that, he had played for Perak Malays in 1999 but skipped the meet the following year to concentrate on his studies.
Then, he joined Seberang Prai MC for the 2001 season and moved over to Ipoh City Hall last year. But it was with Tenaga that he truly came alive.
The 19-year-old from Sungai Siput, Perak, shone in the MJHL and caught the eye of the selectors.
It is a big challenge for me. I hope I can get leave from Uniten to attend the training sessions, he said.
Chandramohan has been playing the game since Year Four and his progress in the game is no surprise. His father, P. Balachandran, is a hockey coach with the Perak HA.
In the ongoing Malaysia Hockey League, Chandramohan plays for Ipoh City Hall who are coached by his father.
I do get a lot of advice from my father. In the recent junior league, he said I was a bit soft. I guess I need to be more robust, he said.
And with a father to keep him in his place, Chandramohan is a realist. He is not harbouring hopes of breaking into the national side.
I think the real challenge for me is to keep my place in the training squad for the next phase. Then, surely a place with the juniors will be there.
This is a new beginning and one that holds a lot of promise, he said.