Wednesday January 2, 2013
Forward Shahril worried by his barren spell
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Shahril Saabah has lost his scoring touch and is worried about his chances of retaining the top scorer’s award in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League which begins on Jan 11.
Last season, Shahril emerged as the league’s top marksman with 18 goals to help Division One side Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt bag the double.
He was then picked to join the National Juniors and he made his international debut at the All India Ubaidullah Khan Gold Cup in Bhopal, India, last month. It was a disappointing outing for Shahril. He played in three matches and failed to score a single goal as Malaysia finished last in their group.
“It was my first international and I was dying to impress the selectors. Unfortunately I failed to sound the board,” said Shahril, who will turn 19 on March 28.
“I hope it will not affect me mentally in my last outing in the MJHL. It’s my wish to win the top scorer award again.
“Coach Roslan (Wan Abdul Rahman) has high hopes for me. I hope I won’t let him down as he is banking on me to score in every match,” added Shahril, who will join SSTMI-Thunderbolt in their first training session in Johor today.
Besides SSTMI-Thunderbolt, the other teams that will feature in Division One are Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), SSTMI Juniors, Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), MBI-Anderson, Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), MSSSPP-USM and Malacca High School.
Shahril believes SSTMI-Thunderbolt have what it takes to retain the double.
“We have retained 14 players from last year’s squad. We also have the services of three other National Junior trainees (Mohd Aminudin Mohd Zain, Mohd Amirol Aideed Mohd Arshad and Mohd Najmi Farizal Jazlan). I doubt the other teams are capable of stopping us,” said Shahril.
Shahril added that his target for this year is to play in the Junior World Cup in New Delhi in December.
“I hope to perform really well in the MJHL to win back the selectors’ faith in me,” said Shahril.