KUALA LUMPUR: National hockey defender K. Logan Raj is in a dilemma.
He wants to continue playing international hockey and be in the team for two four-nation meet in Australia from April 14-25.
But he has signed up for a second-year degree course in Computer and IT and joined classes at the Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology on Monday.
Logan will be able to play in the Test matches against the United States next week but he is unlikely to get leave to go to Australia.
Logan said yesterday that he took up the course after the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) announced the disbandment of the national senior team and cancelled all their commitments following the failure to qualify for the Olympics in a tournament in Madrid last month.
“When they (the MHF) changed their mind, I was caught in a bind. I could have held back the start of the second-year course a little bit longer,” said Logan.
“Now that I have already paid the fees and started the course, I don't think the college will grant me leave to go to Australia”.
The forward turned defender has been a regular in the team for the last one year and he has established himself as the first-choice rightback.
Logan added that he would still make an appeal to the college to grant him a two-week leave.
“I have spoken to the team officials and told them about my predicament. But there should be no problem with the matches against the US,” he said.
Logan completed his first-year course last March and took a break from his studies to pursue his dream to play in the Olympics.
“It is sad that we did not make it. But I never had any thought about quitting the team. We have a good team and I can still serve the country for at least a few more years. I want to be part of the team and help Malaysia get back on their feet,” he said.
“The World Cup qualifiers are our next big assignment and I want to be part of the team. The programme for the team has not be drawn up yet but I think I can manage my time well for studies and training.”
Meanwhile, forward Tajol Rosli has informed team manager Zulkifli Abbas that he has opted out of training to take a short break from international duties.
“He has no plan to quit the game completely. He has been given a new position in Tenaga Nasional and he wants to concentrate on his job for some time before rejoining the national team. We have agreed to his request for a break,” said Zulkifli.
Tajol is one of the two players in the Olympic qualifying team who have opted out of the current training stint. Defender K. Gobinathan has quit international hockey.