NATIONAL hockey coach Tai Beng Hai is not the least worried that a few players are contemplating quitting the national team before the World Cup Qualifier in November.
In fact, the coach feels that if players want to call it a day, they should just inform the management (Malaysian Hockey Federation) and he will not hold a grudge against them.
“I have not received any official notification from any player or players who want to leave the team. However, if any player(s) are finding it difficult to juggle their commitments and hockey right now, they should just come out and inform the MHF.
“It is never easy being a sportsman representing the country, as one will need to sacrifice much. Any nobody should hold a grudge against players who want to call it a day and concentrate on their career,” said Beng Hai.
The national players recently returned from a playing Tour of Australia and New Zealand, and will be heading to China next month.
Beng Hai had left behind a few senior players to try out young blood, and word is that there are some who want to call it a day to concentrate on their new venture into business.
“We need to know early so that we can plan ahead for the Qualifier. The FIH will inform us later where we will be playing, but it does not matter, as winning a gold medal in any of the three venues will be a challenging task.”
Argentina, New Zealand (if the Kiwis lose to Australia in the Oceania Cup) and France are the three Qualifier venues, and Malaysia will only know after the Oceania Cup and the EuroHockey tournament where they will be playing.
“In the fasting month, I will hold training after breaking fast, and fitness will be stressed from now.
“And with the China trip almost confirmed, it will give me one last avenue to try out players, and fine tune the technical aspect for the qualifier.”
Teams who have already qualified for the New Delhi World Cup are hosts India, Pan American champions Canada, Asia Cup winners South Korea and Africa Cup champions South Africa.
The other qualifiers will come from the winner of the Oceania Cup, and semi-finalists of the EuroHockey Nations Championship.
The final vacancies will be filled up by gold medallists in the three Qualifiers, one of which Malaysia will be playing in.