NATIONAL coach Stephen van Huizen picked a young squad for the Japan Tour on June 5-16, as the seniors are either down with injury, have exams, drafted into the Police Force and have personal commitments.
Looking at the positive side, van Huizen said this is a golden chance for others to show their prowess.
"We will be playing six matches against Japan, four of which are friendlies and two are Tests. Even though many of the seniors are not available for this Tour, I believe it gives an opportunity to our younger players," said van Huizen.
Goalkeeper S. Kumar is still nursing his thigh injury,
Faiz Helmi and Fitri Saari have examinations and Shahril Saabah has family commitments.
National skipper Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri are back with Police training after getting a brief release to play in the Razak Cup.
"In their place, 19-year-old players and also those who did not play in the Azlan Shah Cup like Baljit Singh and Harvinder Singh have been called up. This is a golden opportunity for them to shine.'
Razak Cup top scorer Faizal Shaari will have to sit out the Tour, as his ban from playing in international tournaments only ends on June 20.
Terengganu Hockey team goalkeeper Hazrul Faiz, 22, and Syafiq Sumantri, 19, are among those who will be under the spotlight in Japan.
The Tour will be used to prepare the team for the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan, which offers ranking points for the top-three teams for the first time.
Umpire Rais Zakaria will be accompanying the team to officiate in both Test and he will also be officiating at the upcoming Sultan of Johor Cup.
JAPAN TOUR: Goalkeepers: Hairi Rahman, Hazrul Faiz; Defenders: Shukri Mutalib, Izad Hakimi, Baljit Singh, Najmi Farizal, Najib Hassan, Firdaus Omar, Marhan Jalil, Meor Azuan, Joel Samuel Van Huizen, Azri Hassan, Harvinder Singh, Firhan Ashaari, Norhizzat Sumantri, Ramadan Rosli, Rashid Baharom, Haziq Samsul, Nik Aiman Rozemi, Nor Syafiq Sumantri.