THE Project 2017 under-16 boys showed grit to finish third in a Four-Nation tournament in Mannheim, Germany.
The team, which returned yesterday, lost 2-1 to Nether lands, lost 3-1 to eventual champions Germany and beat Belgium 2-1.
Coach Lim Chiow Chuan was impressed with his charges, as initially, he was worried that they were going to ex perience an overdose of hockey.
“Germany, were a class above the rest, while Malaysia were in the verge of holding Netherlands to a 1-1 draw, but conceded a last minute penalty stroke and lost 2-1.
“Overall, I am happy with the team’s progress as I was afraid after playing non stop hockey this year (national Under-16, Junior Hockey League, MSSM and three Razak Cup matches) they would be burned out, but they proved to be made of better stuff,” said Chiow Chuan.
Malaysia finished second last year in the tournament, and even scored the first goal in the third minute against Germany, but let in three goals after that.
“Germany have a solid penalty corner battery, and they basically fielded the same side which won last year. However, I was a little surprised that Netherlands, at this age-group, is not impressive,” said Chiow Chuan.
The Project 2017 will play three more Razak Cup Qualifier matches, and after that, Chiow Chuan will inject new legs for the Razak Cup proper in Malacca.
“I will change half the team, and inject more under-16 players to give my pool of trainees a chance of playing competitive hockey. This is a team for the future, and still at an experimental stage,” said Chiow Chuan.
The other results in the Four Nation are Germany beat Belgium 8-1, Germany beat Netherlands 6-2 and Nether lands drew 2-2 with Belgium.