Saturday January 12, 2013
Shahril has been a huge letdown, says coach Dharmaraj
KUALA LUMPUR: Project 2013 squad coach K. Dharmaraj has ticked off forward Mohd Shahril Sabaah for not performing up to his usual high standard.
Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt forward Shahril was called up for the Project 2013 training squad after for being the top scorer in last season’s MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League (MJHL).
The Kuala Lumpur-born player netted 20 field and penalty corner goals in the Under-19 league.
But his performances in several tournaments have failed to impress Dharmaraj.
“He may be the top scorer in the junior league but he’s been a huge letdown in the Project squad,” said Dharmaraj.
“I’m annoyed with his performances in the All India Ubaidullah Khan Gold Cup in Bhopal last month. Not only did he fail to score a single goal, he was also a mere passenger in the tournament. “Shahril can’t even stop the ball properly, let alone make proper passes. I wanted to send him home after two matches but I couldn’t because we don’t have many players in the training squad.”
The 19-year-old Shahril is featuring for Thunderbolt in the MJHL, which began on Thursday.
“I will drop players who fail to impress me after our five friendlies against the Canadian senior and junior teams this month. I’ll trim the squad to 25 players after the friendlies,” said Dharmaraj, who wants committed and dedicated players in his squad.
Dharmaraj guided the Project squad to win the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca last May. But they failed to retain the Sultan of Johor Cup last November after finishing last in the six-nation tournament.
The Project squad are preparing for the Junior World Cup in Chandigarh, India, from Dec 5-16.