Monday, April 23, 2012

Dharmaraj banking on Faizal power

THE Project 2013 hockey team are primed for an explosive Junior Asia Cup in Malacca on May 3-13, with coach K. Dharmaraj bent on winning the gold medal.
    His confidence stems from Faizal Saari
(pic) becoming a one-man scoring machine in the friendlies against Pakistan and South Korea.
   And Faizal will complement well with penalty corner flicker Noor Faeez Ibrahim, who played a pivotal role in helping Malaysia win the inaugural Sultan of Johor Cup.
   "Faizal has shown great composure and is now the ace in the Project 2013 team.
   "His penalty corner flicks are not only accurate, but powerful, and he would be the player to watch in Malacca," said Dharmaraj.
   The finalists in Malacca will advance to the Junior World Cup in India next year.
    Malaysia have South Korea, Japan and Iran for company in Group A. India are in Group B with Pakistan, China and Sri Lanka.
   India, as hosts, are automatic qualifiers regardless of how they end up in the tournament.
   However, if India play in the final, then the bronze medallists will also advance to New Delhi.
   India are the defending champions, and have won the last two editions in Karachi in 2004 and Chennai in 2008.