07 Nov 2012

Faizal to miss Sultan of Johor Cup again


KUALA LUMPUR: The Project 2013 squad will not have the services of prolific scorer Faizal Saari for the second time in the Sultan of Johor Cup Under-21 hockey championship, which begins at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru next week.


The 21-year-old from Terengganu, who has the ability to score both field and penalty corner goals, is with the senior squad preparing for the Champions Challenge 1 in Argentina from Nov 24 to Dec 2.

But coach K. Dharmaraj is not complaining because he has four other players capable of delivering from penalty corners.

They are defenders G. Kavin Kartik and Mohd Zulhairi Hashim, midfielder Mohd Shahril Saabah and forward Mohd Firhan Ashaari.

“They have the ability to take the penalty corners well and have proved this in local tournaments,” said Dharmaraj.

The Tampin-born Kavin scored regularly from penalty corners for Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) in Division One of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL), which ended last month.

Zulhairi of UniKL and Shahril of Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS) were top scorers in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) in 2010. The 19-year-old Firhan was on target for Terengganu as they stormed to the Razak Cup title in Kuantan last month.

Firhan, who featured in the Olympic qualifier in Dublin in March, is available as he has been dropped from the national senior team.

Dharmaraj said he was looking for a good penalty corner drag flicker for next year’s Junior World Cup in New Delhi.

“These four players have the opportunity to seal the position,” said Dharmaraj, who will name his final squad of 18 after the friendly matches against Germany on Nov 9 and New Zealand on Nov 10.

Malaysia open their campaign in Johor Baru against five-time junior world champions Germany on Nov 11.

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