KUALA LUMPUR: Three players were dropped and one retained for sparring purposes as the national hockey team for the Olympic qualifier were trimmed to 21 yesterday.
The three players chopped were Shahrin Mohamad, Mohd Fitri Abu Bakar and Project 2013’s Faiz Helmi. Midfielder Mohd Azammi Adabi will stay on to make up the numbers for 11-a-side games in training but is not included for the trip Down Under.
The 21-man squad will leave for Perth on Jan 27 where they will play five matches — four against world champions Australia and one with Holland — as part of their preparations. The final squad of 18 players will be named just before they leave for the qualifier in Dublin from March 10-18.
Team manager George Koshy said all 16 players from the silver-medal winning Asian Games squad have been retained.
“The others are Kelvinder Singh and Mohd Izzat Rahim, who were nursing injuries during the Asiad, and Project 2013 trio Mohd Fitri Saari, Amir Farid and Mohd Firhan Azhaari,” he said yesterday.
“The matches in Perth will decide the final 18 for the qualifier.”
The squad will return on Feb 6 for their final training session in Kuala Lumpur where they are likely to spar with the Project 2013 team preparing for the Asian Junior Cup in Malacca in May.
S. Kumar, Roslan Jamaluddin, Nabil Fiqri Mohd Nor, Mohd Amin Rahim, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Faizal Saari, Mohd Shahrun Nabil, Mohd Madzli Ikmar, Mohd Razie Rahim, Mohd Marhan Jalil, Mohd Sukri Mutalib, Baljit Singh, Hafifihafiz Hanafi, Azlan Misron, Izwan Firdaus, Azreen Rizal, Mohd Firhan, Kelvinder Singh, Mohd Fitri Saari, Amir Farid, Mohd Izzat.