Sunday February 24, 2013
We need to get our fundamentals right, says coach Revington
KUALA LUMPUR: National hockey coach Paul Revington is not setting a target for Malaysia in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh from March 9-17.
For the South African, he is more interested in getting the team’s fundamentals right.
Besides Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and South Korea are in the fray. All five invited teams are past champions and are ranked higher than Malaysia. Malaysia are the odd ones out, finishing second three times.
“I am not too concerned about what the other teams are doing at the moment. We are several months or even years behind most of the world’s top 10 teams. We have a lot of catch-up to do. We need to get our fundamentals right as it will help us to play consistently well,” said Revington after the launch of the 2013 edition of the tournament here yesterday.
Malaysia are using the tournament to prepare for the World League semi-finals, a qualifier for the 2014 World Cup, in Johor Baru in June.
“We must use every available opportunity to bridge the gap against the world’s best. In that sense the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is an important part of our training programme,” he added.
Revington believes world champions Australia are the favourites for the title.
“Australia are highly competitive no matter who they bring to a tournament. Their depth of talent is well known.
“As for Pakistan and India, they are experiencing an upward curve in performance which is healthy for the international game.
“South Korea and New Zealand are both coming with new coaches. But they have produced consistently strong performances in recent years,” said Revington.
In the run-up to the tournament, Malaysia will play two friendlies against New Zealand in Malacca on March 4 and 5.