THE Project 2013 squad will receive a South Korean lesson from Wednesday onwards as coach K. Dharmaraj prepares them for the Junior World Cup in December.
With about 180 days left to the New Delhi Junior World Cup, on Dec 6-15, Dharmaraj wants to give his fringe players a chance to cement their spots, or make way for others.
“We are taking 18 players for the Korean Tour where they will play eight to nine matches and the objective is to strengthen the bench.
“I have left behind some of the regulars, and added many from the training pool to give them a chance to play some grueling matches and prove themselves,” said Dharmaraj.
During the Tour, Dharmaraj’s charges will play against Korean Juniors, the Korean National Sports University sides and also Armed Forces.
Malaysia qualified for the Junior World Cup when they became champions in the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca last year.
The other sides that have qualified are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Spain, Egypt, France, Germany, India, South Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.
“During the Qualifier in Malacca, even though we becanme the champions, I had problems with a weak bench and had to keep playing the same players and substitution was at a minimal.
“This was done as not to disrupt the tempo on the matches, but it also made many of the regulars overworked and tired by the time they reached the final.
“To avoid the same scenario, the Korean tour will attempt to strengthen the substitutes while the regulars rest after playing in the just concluded Malaysia Hockey League,” said Dharmaraj.
Korea Tour Squad: Hazrul Faiz, Hafizuddin Othman, Najib Abu Hassan, Nor Azarul Rahman, Rashid Baharom, Kavin Kartik, Azwar Rahman, Hafiz Zainol, Nor Aqmal Gaffar, Shazril Irwan, Dangerous Lee, Haziq Samsul, Syafiq Zulzairin, Zulhairi Hashim, Aminudin Zain, Syamim Yusof, Azri Hassan, Shahril Saabah.