KUALA LUMPUR: The Belgium national hockey team will play five Test matches against Malaysia next month. And the series will be the first test for Wallace Tan as national coach.
Those called up for national training will report to Wallace today but full sessions are only expected to begin on Monday.
Wallace said yesterday that the players would undergo a fitness test with the National Sports Institute (NSI) tomorrow and will break camp on Friday to play in the Penang Pesta Penang tournament over the weekend.
The players are committed to play for their clubs in the Pesta tournament. Therefore, we can only get into full swing with the national training programme from Monday.
Wallace said that the matches against the Belgians would give him a clearer picture on the players' fitness level and also the amount of work that needed to be put into it.
The matches against the Belgians are scheduled for Jan 21, 22, 24, 25 and 27.
The national team also have four matches line up against second-ranked Dutch club Bloemendaal. The matches will be played in February.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) acting secretary, T. Paramalingam, said that they hoped to have one of the matches in Malacca and the other three in KL.
He added that they had yet to finalise overseas Tours for the national team.
We are still waiting for some replies from the countries whom we have approached. We hope to finalise them in two weeks' time, said Paramalingam.