KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) have retained all 16 players from the 2010 Asian Games squad to form the core of the training squad in their Road to London programme.
Of the other nine players in the squad of 25 players, who will train full time, seven are newcomers to the senior team.
Only Kelvinder Singh and Mohamed Azammi Adabi were from the previous training squad who did not make it to the final squad for the Guangzhou Asiad last November.
The seven new faces are Mohamed Firhan Ashaari (pic), Faiz Helmy Jalil (Tenaga), Mohamed Izzat Rahim (Sapura), Fitri Abu Bakar (YNS), Sharin Mohamed (Maybank) Mohamed Asri Hassan (UniKL) and Mohamed Rashid Baharom (UiTM).
Mohamed Izzat, Sharin Mohamed and Fitri Abu Bakar were members of the 2009 national junior team while Faiz Helmy, Mohamed Firhan Ashaari, Mohamed Rashid Baharom and Mohamed Asri Hassan are from the Project 2013 training squad.
The players will report for training under chief coach Tai Beng Hai on Wednesday to prepare for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament in May.
The MHF have also decided to include five other players from the Project 2013 team on attachment and they will be drafted into the squad if they show better form than the 25 listed players.
The five are Nor Hizzat Sumantri, Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi, Arief Iskandar Khamdan (UniKL), Mohamed Fitri Saari and Mohamed Nor Faeez (KLHC).
The MHF have decided not to recall forward Ismail Abu, who was axed in 2009 for disciplinary reasons, even though he showed good form in the MHL and scored 17 goals for KLHC.
There was no place for Jiwa Mohan while his brother Jivan has opted out as he has joined the Police Force.
The main target for the team is to qualify for the London Olympics next year. The qualifying tournaments will be held early next year but the venues are to be decided.