Thursday, March 19, 2015
Pic: Maxhan Cristhi (gripped fist) celebrates after scoring for UniKL in the JHL
SEVEN juniors will be heading for a 10-day stint in the Netherlands, as preparations start early to defend Malaysia's Junior Asia Cup gold medal, which comes with a ticket to the 2016 Junior World Cup.
Malaysia were champions in the last tournament in Malacca, and went on to finish fourth in the last Junior World Cup which was also held in New Delhi.
The Junior Asia Cup will be held in Kuantan, and is slated for Nov 12-22.
"Three goalkeepers and four penalty corner flickers will head for Netherlands on March 25th and return on April 1. They will train under goalkeepers' specialist coach Martijn Drijver and penalty corner coach
Toon Siepman," said Project 2016 team manager Mirnawan Nawawi.
The three goalkeeepers are Ridzwan Azmi, Adi Fazri and Amirul Afiq Azhar. The budding penalty corner flickers are Aminuddin Zain, Najmi Farizal, Syed Shafiq Cholan and Sabahan Maxhan Cristhi who was named as the best player in the recently concluded Junior Hockey League.
Maxhan played for UniKL Young Guns in the JHL, and the 18-year-old promising lad is from Keningau.
"Our best junior penalty corner flicker Shahril (Saabah) will remain home and train with the senior side which is preparing for the Azlan Shah Cup. Former internationals Amin Rahim and Jivan Mohan will accompany the seven to Netherlands," said Mirnawan.
The Project 2016 side will then head for Australia on April 16-26 to play a series of friendlies against the WAIS side.
"We decided to send goalkeepers and penalty corner flickers for specialist training as these are the two main departments that can determine if a team performs or fails in major tournaments. The seven will be coached by experts and hopefully they pick up pointers which will will help Malaysia win gold in the Junior Asia Cup, which is a qualifier for the Junior World Cup," said Mirnawan.