Sunday, August 17, 2014

TM challenge for players...

By T. N Alagesh

MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has challenged the national team to silence their critics by bringing home an Asian Games medal.
Upset by a series of events which have seen hockey’s reputation taking a bashing in the country, Tengku Abdullah said the players must respond positively.
     While Malaysia’s 4-2 defeat to Trinidad & Tobago in the Commonwealth Games was the ‘highlight’, it has been a terrible year for the team with a poor World Cup campaign and losing two coaches.
    Paul Revington quit earlier this year while K. Dharmaraj was ‘rested’ after the Commonwealth Games.
     “Frankly, I am a little disappointed... upset. The national team did not meet my expectations in the tournaments. Now, it is up to the players to prove their worthiness in upcoming assignments,” said Tengku Abdullah in Kuantan yesterday.
    “For me, it boils down to the players as they need to change their attitude, lift their spirits, be physically tough, mentally strong and stay hungry for success.
  “It is now in the players hands and I hope they will prove they are title contenders during the Asian Games.
    “You can bring the world’s best coach to manage the team but it makes no difference if the players are not fired up to win medals. If the players want to play well, there is no better platform than the Asian Games.”
    Arul Selvaraj is the coach for the Asian Games, and the squad must make the semi-finals after they were downgraded to category B by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).
    MHC, which has appealed, will only be reimbursed by OCM if the squad make the semi-finals in Incheon but Tengku Abdullah wants them to aim for the final.
    Meanwhile, forward Faizal Saari, who declined an Asian Games call-up but is playing for Terengganu in the ongoing Razak Cup in Kuantan, has been issued with a show-cause letter by MHC.