Five players recalled to beef up Project 2013 squad

Raring to go: Joel Samuel Van Huizen is one of the five players recalled for Project 2013 squad.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Project 2013 team have recalled five players following their good performances in the recent Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

Sapura’s Joel van Huizen and Terengganu’s Mohamed Sufi Ismat, who withdrew earlier due to studies, have been given another chance to make good. Tenaga’s Shahiran Jalil, Mohamed Fariq Saadon and Sapura’s Farizul Afiq, who were axed when their performance dropped, have been re-instated.

Team manager Mirnawan Nawawi said that the five players will join the 26 players currently training with the team.

“No player is assured of a place in the final squad. We want to ensure that we have the best players available for the Junior World Cup.

“We are planning to trim the squad but for now we will maintain the 26 who are in training and bring in the five players, who had been training with us before. Their performances in the MHL have been encouraging and we have seen some positive signs. So we will give them another chance to prove their worth,” he said.

Mirnawan also pointed out that they have another five players who are with the senior team. The players – Faiz Helmi Jali, Firhan Azhaari, Fitri Saari, Meor Azuan and Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin – will only join the Project squad after the Asia Cup which ends in Ipoh on Sept 1.

The Project 2013’s target is the Junior World Cup which will be held in New Delhi in December.

They will also play in two big invitational events as part of their preparations – the Sultan of Johor Cup in September and the Six-Nation Invitational in New Delhi.

The team will leave for South Korea on May 29 to play four matches with club sides.

Mirnawan said that they will take only 19 players for the trip.

“The selection will be done in a day of two. Later in June we also have a trip to Europe where we expect to play against four nations. This programme is being finalised although we have commitment from England, Germany and Belgium. We also hope to play the Dutch national juniors,” he said.

Mirnawan said that the final team for the Junior World cup will be decided after the six-nation meet in New Delhi.

“We want to give all the players a chance to make the team. The senior players have an advantage as such the rest are fighting for 13 remaining places. But like I said there is no guarantee for any player. It is their performance that will count in the end,” he added.

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