NEGRI Sembilan listed nine juniors and nine retired players in their quest to reach the Division One semi-finals of the Razak Cup at the Kuantan Stadium.
And although they also listed national goalkeeper S. Kumar, he is not expected to see action as he is still recovering from the Asia Cup fatique.
The Division Two matches started on Friday, while the more challenging Division One will see action from today.
“We listed a balanced team as I feel that the juniors still need guidence from former internationals like S. Kuhan, Madzli Ikmar and Suhaimi Ibrahim,” said Negri coach S. Chandran.
Negri will meet Malacca in their opening Group A en counter.
“We reached the semis last year and finished fourth, and hope to play in the knock out stage again but finish higher,” said Chandran.
Negri are drawn in Group A with defending champion Terengganu, Johor and Malacca while last year’s losing finalist Pahang are in Group B with Kuala Lumpur, Perak and Penang.
Kuala Lumpur are holders of 19 Razak Cup tittes, with the last one won in 2011. Last year, they only had a bronze to show after being knocked out of the semi-finals by eventual champions Terengganu.
But Terengganu is also expected to limp around in Division One this year, as their goal poachers Firhan Ashaari, and brothers Faizal and Fitri are not available.
Faizal left for the German League where he will play for Berlin Hockey Club, while Fitri and Firhan are in training with the national juniors for the Sultan of Johor Cup.
RESULTS - Friday: Division Two: Armed Forces Selangor (match abandoned), Police 3 Sabah 2, Kedah 1 Perlis 5.
Saturday: Sabah 0 Armed Forces 4, Perlis 2 Police 3, Kedah 1 Selangor 9.
FIXTURES: Today: Division One A: Terengganu v Johor (8pm, Pitch I), Malacca v Negri Sembilan (8pm, Pitch II); Group B: Perak v Pahang (6pm, Pitch I), Kuala Lumpur v Penang (6pm, Pitch II).