Wednesday July 25, 2012
Four Sukma hockey players withdraw from Project squad
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Thirty-six players were selected from the recent Pahang Sukma to join the Project 2013 hockey training squad last week.
However, four players – Mohd Rasydan Saiful (Malacca), Safeed Roslan (Johor), Mohd Hanif Azemi (Kedah) and Mohd Sufi Ismat (Terengganu) – have withdrawn.
While Rasydan did not offer any reasons for not attending any training session, medical student Safeed prefers to focus on his studies while Form Five students Hanif and Sufi pulled out to prepare for next month’s Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) trial examinations.
“It’s unfortunate that these four players have withdrawn,” said Project 2013 coach K. Dharmaraj.
This is the first training session for the Project squad since winning their first Junior Asia Cup in May in Malacca.
The Project squad are preparing for next year’s Junior World Cup in New Delhi in November.
Dharmaraj said that despite the fasting month the Project squad trained twice a day, with the morning session from 6-8.
“We start the evening session at 6pm and we continue training after breaking fast.
“We also played a few friendly matches as we will be leaving for Europe on Aug 8 to play seven friendlies,” he said.
“I will take 20 players to Europe for the friendlies. The matches are important for us to gauge our team’s strength as Asian champions.”
The Project squad will play two matches each against the Spain and France juniors teams. They will also play a match against a Dutch First Division club before playing one match each against the Poland senior and junior squads.
The Project 2013 team will return to Malaysia on Aug 19.
Dharmaraj and assistant coach K. Gobinathan will be be in Hertogenbosch, Holland, from Aug 26-Sept 1 to watch the European junior tournament.