KUALA LUMPUR: Forward Mohd Amerrullah Abdul Aziz, who featured in the Junior Asia Cup in Karachi in April, has been dropped from the national junior squad for the Razak Cup tournament, which will be played at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil here from Nov 27-Dec 5.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) in naming the squad of 18 players for the tournament yesterday also dropped defender Megat Azrafiq Megat Termizi.
The MHF deputy president Tan Sri P. Alagendra said that Amerrullah had not performed well in training while Azrafiq, who was also in the team for the Junior Asia Cup, was nursing a knee injury.
“Azrafiq will undergo rehabilitation at the National Sports Institute (NSI) in Bukit Jalil for six weeks. He is our main player in defence and will rejoin the squad after he recovers from the injury,”' said Alagendra.
Two players who were dropped from the squad for the Junior Asia Cup made the cut this time. They are forwards Kelvinder Singh and S. Selvaraju. The squad also have another newcomer in forward Norikram Sulaiman.
Kelvinder and Selvaraju have showed tremendous improvement in their game.
Kelvinder played for Tenaga Nasional in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) and he was named the most promising player this season. Teammate Selvaraju was named the man-of-the-match in the final against Ernst and Young last month.
Norikram was impressive for Maybank in the MHL.
Forty players were called up for training but eight were unable to join the team because of the SPM examination.
Alagendra said those who had been dropped could join their respective state teams for the Razak Cup tournament.
He added that the team would have an 11-day break from Saturday for the Deepavali and Hari Raya festivities.
National junior coach Sarjit Singh said that the team had been set a target to reach the semi-finals in the Razak Cup tournament.
“This year's tournament will be more competitive because each team can only have six national players,” said Sarjit.
“I have good defenders and forwards but I am still looking for the right combination in midfield.”
THE TEAM Goalkeepers: Kairul Nizam Ibrahim, Ahmad Bazli Razali.
Defenders: Engku Abdul Malik, Mohd Sallehin Abd Ghani, Mohd Sukri Abdul Mutalib, S. Bubalana, Zulkifli Rejab.
Midfielders: Mohd Sufian Mohd, Mohd Izwan Hassan, Mohd Shahrun Nabil, Mohd Fekri Bassar, Azli Misron.
Forwards: Kelvinder Singh, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Ismail Abu, S. Selvaraju, Ahmad Anuar Sham, Norikram Sulaiman.