KUALA Lumpur have set their sights on playing in the final of the 48th Razak Cup starting in Kuantan tomorrow (24/03/10).
KL, who beat Johor 6-3 for the bronze last season, have secured five national players, including the best penalty corner flicker in the country, Amin Rahim.
“We did not do well last year, but I am confident that we have a well balanced side and should be able to reach the final of Division One and take matters from there,” said KL coach Nor Saiful Zaini.
Division One will be led by defending champions Malacca, who beat Project 2013 2-1 last year. This year, the Project boys as well as national players have been released to play for their respective states.
“The national players only broke camp last week so I will only have them for training tonight (last night) but it should not be a problem as most of the are experienced and should adapt well,” said Nor Saiful, a former Malaysian skipper.
The Malaysian Hockey federation (MHF) made the Razak Cup more interesting this year when they made it mandatory for each team to have at least four Under-21 players.
All four must wear special armbands, and two of them must be on the pitch at any given time.
“I will include two under-16 players (KL won the national under-16 title in Sabah on Sunday) and another two school boys to meet the MHF quota. This is a good ruling, as players will be exposed in the Razak Cup at a young age,” said Nor Saiful.
MHF will provide a grant of RM5,000 for each team while the Division One purse is RM10,000 for gold, RM7,000 for silver and RM5,000 for bronze.
In Division Two, the pay-out is RM5,000 for gold, RM3,000 for silver and RM2,000 for bronze.
DIVISION ONE: Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Perak, Penang, Negri Sembilan, Armed Forces.
Division Two: Group A -- Singapore, Kedah, Kelantan, Police, Sabah; Group B: Selangor, Brunei, Pahang, Perlis, Terengganu.
FIXTURES -- Tomorrow: Division One: Kuala Lumpur v Malacca (6.30pm), Armed Forces v Johor (8.30pm), Negri Sembilan v Perak (5pm).
Division Two: Brunei v Pahang (4.30pm).
Thursday: Division One -- Johor v Perak (3pm), Malacca v Negri Sembilan (5pm), Kuala Lumpur v Penang (7pm).
Division Two: Singapore v Police (3pm), Kedah v Kelantan (5pm).
All Matches at Pitch I and II of the Kuantan Stadium.