Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Razie, Nabil sit out Australia HL debut...

MALAYSIA will field almost the entire national team in Tigers, their back-up in Blues and women's team in the Australian Hockey League (AHL) on Sept 26-Oct 10 in Perth.
  This is a milestone for for country, who aspire to play in the 2018 New Delhi World Cup, as well as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  The senior squad will be called Tigers, and missing from the list announced yesterday by national coach Stephen van Huizen were inspector trainees Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri.
  "Yes we will be fielding an almost full side minus Nabil and Razie who are in training to become inspectors in Pulapol. This is because even though we have an understanding with Pulapol to let them out for national training and matches which concern Malaysia, they can't release trainees for overseas assignments," said van Huizen.
  Razie is the No 1 penalty corner flicker in the country while Nabil is a pillar in midfield for the nation.
  When asked if both of them would be released for the Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan on Oct 20-30, van Huizen could not make a commitment.
  "Both of them are in good form and when they played for 30 minutes in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) this season, I could see that they were still the best and their form did not drop. For me, it was enough time to include them in the ACT but we will have to rely on the goodwill of Pulapol to release them.
  "However, I believe for national duty, and since the tournament in Malaysia -- there should be no problems," said van Huizen.
  For the record, Razie and Nabil turn out for Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in the Premier Division of the MHL and have only played for 30 minutes against Sapura the entire season.
  "Against Sapura, even though both of them played only for 30 minutes, Razie scored two goals in their 3-0 win. This shows he is an invaluable player," said van Huizen.
   As for the Australian HL Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Technical Director Terry Walsh Said: "After playing in a local league, the players will get a chance to compete in an overseas league and this is a huge step forward for Malaysia."
  The other foreign teams in the men's tournament are India and New Zealand.
  "Playing in the AHL, then the ACT and then the Azlan Shah Cup for the men and the World League in Singapore for the women are all part of the plan to qualify for the World Cup and Olympics.
  "While the men will face some difficulties, but not impossible ones to qualify for the world Cup, it would be much more harder for the women. But this AHL playing chance should come in as a very good experience to wards our future cause," said Walsh.
  Shukri Mutalib will skipper the Tigers, Baljit Singh will captain the Blues and Siti Noor Amarina will lead the women in Perth.
  Ten teams each will compete in the men's and women's AHL.