THE National senior team started their Azlan Shah Cup training yesterday, with 11 available players at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The Azlan Shah Cup, on May 24 to June 3, will feature six teams who have qualified for the Olympics -- India, Australia, Great Britain, South Korea, New Zealand and Pakistan.
Only hosts Malaysia failed to make the grade in the Dublin Olympic Qualifier.
“Eleven players turned up for training today (yesterday) as five of them are involved with the Project 2013 side, while others could not get leave from their studies.
“We invited 24 trainees for the Azlan Shah Cup, and will most probably head for Ipoh to train at the blue pitch for a few days,” said national coach Tai Beng Hai.
The Olympics will use a blue artificial pitch and a yellow ball for the first time, and the six Olympians will benefit from the Azlan Shah Cup simulation.
Five Project 2013 players have been included in the Azlan Shah Cu list, which means if they get selected, they will play in the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca on May 3-13, and then another gruelling tournament 11 days later.
The Junior Asia Cup also doubles up as the 2014 Junior World Cup Qualifier, and two berths will be made available in Malacca, excluding hosts India.
AZLAN SHAH CUP TRAINEES: Roslan Jamaluddin (gk), S. Kumar (gk), Hairi Rahman (gk), Izzat Rahim, Amin Rahim, Marhan Jalil, Fitri Saari, Izwan Firdaus, Faizal Saari, Shahrun Nabil, Shukri Mutalib, Azlan Misron, Nabil Fiqri, Razie Rahim, Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi, Baljit Singh, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Azreen Rizal, Fitri Abu Bakar, Shahrin Mohamed, Faiz Helmi, Firhan Ashaari, Farid Fuzi, Azammi Adabi.