Thursday March 21, 2013
Sapura beef up squad with four foreign players
By K. RAjan
PETALING JAYA: Sapura coach Tai Beng Hai concedes that his side will be the underdogs in the 2013 edition of the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL).
The former champions are in their second season of rebuilding as they are phasing out their aging players.
Among the notable players who had left are the Mohan brothers Jiwa and Jivan, former skipper S. Kuhan and goalkeeper Khairulnizam Ibrahim.
Sapura, however, have bolstered their squad with three Pakistan players – Khasif Ali, Yasir Islam, Muhammad Zubair and India’s Raja Veerachamy, who joined training yesterday.
The players were only made available last week after the India-Pakistan series of fri-endly matches scheduled in April was called off.
Beng Hai said his foreign players were signed up at the last minute after the cancellation of the India-Pakistan friendlies.
“We are continuing our rebuilding pro-cess this season and have opted to blood more youngsters,” said Beng Hai, who returned to helm the team after an eight-year hiatus.
“We don’t have time to gel the team but I hope the foreign and local players can find their rhythm before the league starts.”