Sunday September 9, 2012
Sapura counting on inspector Jivan to keep red-hot Faizal at bay
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Aman police inspector Jivan Mohan will have to fall back on his training as a cop to shackle Tenaga Nasional dangerman Faizal Saari.
The Penang-born Jivan, a former national midfielder, has been given time off from his duties to play for Sapura in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
And when Sapura meet Tenaga today, Jivan’s task will be to keep Faizal, who has scored nine goals in three matches, under wraps.
Faizal scored two goals in the 2-2 draw against Maybank and four in the 5-2 win over Nur Insafi-Perak.
On Friday, he bagged a hat-trick in the 3-2 win over Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).
The 29-year-old Jivan admitted that “Faizal is skilful, fast and deadly in the semi-circle”.
“Although he is an average sized player, he is easily the best in the league as he has the ability to score both field and penalty corner goals,” said Jivan, who was named the Most Promising player in the MHL in 2003.
“I will mark him closely and make sure he doesn’t score against us tomorrow.”
Jivan acknowledged that Sapura’s defence, manned by his elder brother Jiwa, Megat Azrafiq and Pakistan’s Muhammad Imran, face a daunting task against Tenaga.
“Our matches against Tenaga have always been close and it will be no different this time. We had a bad start in the league when we lost 5-0 to defending champions KL Hockey Club (KLHC) in the Charity Shield match.
“But we have since made steady progress by beating UniKL (3-1) and Maybank (4-2). We hope to get the better of Tenaga tomorrow,” said Jivan, who still hopes to be recalled to the national team.
“I love playing hockey and want to continue representing the country for as long as I can.”
Jivan last donned national colours in a six-nation tournament in France in 2010.
He did not feature for the national team last year as he had to undergo nine months’ of training with the police force at Pulapol in Kuala Lumpur.
Faizal, meanwhile, is not bothered about Sapura planning to man-mark him.
“I am more confident and motivated after scoring nine goals in three matches. Nothing and nobody is going to stop me from scoring more goals,” said the 21-year-old Terengganu-born Faizal.
“I was the top scorer last year with 19 goals ... this time I hope to score more than 20 goals.
“I also want to help Tenaga win at least one title after failing to do so last year.”
Double champions KLHC are expected to register another big win over basement side UniKL.
KLHC top the standings with the maximum number of points from three matches, having hammered Sapura 5-0, Maybank 4-1 and Nur Insafi-Perak 5-0.