Friday September 7, 2012
Azlanís switch to the back paying off handsomely
KUALA LUMPUR: KL Hockey Club (KLHC) striker Azlan Misron’s switch to a defender is paying off handsomely for the club in the TNB-Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
The 29-year-old Perak-born player has combined well with the other defenders like Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim, S. Shankar and Baljit Singh Sarjab.
And double champions KLHC now have the best defensive unit in the league, having conceded just one goal in two matches. They also top the Premier Division standings after two impressive wins.
Last weekend, KLHC retained the Charity Shield by bashing Sapura 5-0 before outplaying Maybank 4-1.
Azlan, who is also the skipper, said that his decision to play in the backline “is not because I am getting too old to play in the forward-line”.
“I am still fit and fast but I decided to play in defence because there are too many forwards in our team and only a few defenders,” said Azlan, who is the proud father of a bubbly two-month-old daughter.
“I also played as a defender for the national team a few years ago.”
Azlan, who is the most experienced player in the national team with 271 caps to his credit, said he wants to continue playing for the national team.
“Although I turned 29 in May, I am still the most experienced player in the country and believe that I can still contribute to the national team either as a forward or a defender,” said Azlan, who made his debut for the national team in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2002.
Azlan also said that his biggest regret “is not featuring in the World Cup and the Olympics”.
“I was dropped from the 2002 World Cup in KL ... my aim now is to play well in the MHL and to earn a call-up for national training,” he said.
Azlan, who has skippered KLHC for the last six years, hopes to help his team win their third consecutive double.
KLHC face Nur Insafi-Perak in Ipoh today and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) on Sunday.