KUALA LUMPUR: National women's hockey coach K. Dharmaraj did not discount the inclusion of 14-year-old Kirandeep Kaur for the Australian Tour starting on July 21 as their final preparation for the Asian Games in Jakarta.
Dharma said budding players like Kirandeep would inject competition in the team, and send out a warning that 'no player can take their place for granted' in the national team.
The coach had fielded her in every match at the recent Hockey Series Open in Singapore, and she scored her maiden international goal in the final to help Malaysia beat Thailand 6-0.
"I do not want any players to feel comfortable with their spot in the national team.
"That is why I have added healthy competition by fielding Kirandeep and other young players in the squad. The message here is that players must continuously give their best in every match to keep their spot in the team. And so, the door is open for Kirandeep to be selected for the Queensland friendlies," said Dharmaraj.
And the Tour would be the final platform for Dharmaraj to select 18 players for the Asian Games in August, and this chance can also be snatched by Kirandeep.
The other youth who impressed in Singapore are 17-year-olds Nuramirah Zulkifli and Nurmaizatulhanim Syafi.
"Of course I will only select the best for the Asian Games after the Australian Tour, and all those who will be playing in the Queensland
friendlies have a fair chance of making it to Jakarta," said Dharmaraj.