Wednesday February 13, 2013
Grateful Mas hopes to make impact in the World League
KUALA LUMPUR: Goalkeeper Mas Huzaimah Mohd Aziz has earned the big break she’s been craving for when she was named for round two of the World League in New Delhi from Feb 18-24.
The other teams in the women’s hockey competition are Japan (world No. 9), India (No. 12), Russia (No. 20), Kazakhstan (No. 33) and Fiji (No. 59).
The World League was introduced last year for teams to earn a place in next year’s Women’s World Cup.
National coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli said that Mas was chosen for her impressive performance in the Junior Asia Cup in Bangkok last June.
“She also showed her true potential in training and will replace reserve goalkeeper Siti Noor (Hafiza Zainordin),” said Nasihin.
The first choice goalkeeper is 25-year-old Farah Ayuni Yahya, who has 45 international caps.
The 22-year-old Perak-born Mas was ecstatic to be selected after failing to make the team for the first round of the World League in Kuantan last September.
Malaysia emerged champions in the Kuantan competition, which featured Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka and Singapore.
“Although Ayuni will be the first choice, I hope to get a chance to play in the World League,” said Mas.
“I’m eager to earn my first international cap and help Malaysia qualify for the semi-finals.”
The national team will leave for New Delhi tomorrow and play in a friendly against Russia on Friday before opening their campaign against the same team on Monday.
The top two teams will qualify for the semi-finals, which will be held in Rotterdam in June.
Nasihin expects strong challenges from favourites Japan, hosts India and Russia. Malaysia will find it hard to beat Japan and India while Russia are also expected to be tough customers.
“We hope to defy the odds and make the cut for the next round,” said Nasihin, who has been the national coach since 2011.