KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Nor Aqmal Abdul Ghaffar is proud to continue the legacy of hockey in his family.
He is the youngest of four boys and they all play hockey. Elder brothers Mohd Nor Affandy and Mohd Nor Affazly represented Johor in local tournaments while his third brother, Mohd Nor Hafiq, featured in the Junior World Cup in Johor Baru, where he was the main penalty corner drag flicker.
Aqmal has followed in the footsteps of Hafiq – he will also be the penalty corner flicker for the national junior team in the Sultan of Johor Cup, which begins on Sunday.
He scored six goals in the team’s playing tours – two in South Korea in May and four in Europe in June.
The 20-year-old Aqmal said that his brothers encouraged him to take up hockey and he has no regrets doing so.
“I am honoured to be in the national junior squad as my dream is to represent Malaysia in the Junior World Cup in New Delhi (from Dec 6-16) and become a national player,” said the former Kluang Science Secondary School student.
He admitted to being proud to play in the Sultan of Johor Cup, not because it’s his first outing in the tournament but also because he’ll be playing in his home state.
“My mission in the tournament is to deliver goals from penalty corners and establish myself as the main drag flicker in the team,” said Aqmal, who also hopes to play well in defence.
“It’s going to be a challenge to do so as there are other penalty corner flickers in the team.”
The other drag flickers in the team are Zulhairi Hisham, Mohd Fitri Saari, Mohd Firhan Ashaari and G. Kavin Kartik.
Midfielder Fitri and forward Firhan are both national players who featured in the Asia Cup in Ipoh last month.
Aqmal hopes that national junior coach K. Dharmaraj will give him a chance to execute the penalty corner drag flicks in the tournament.
“I’ve been working hard on my drag flicks in training to make sure they have power and accuracy as penalty corners are crucial to winning matches,” said Aqmal.
Six teams will feature in the tournament and Malaysia will open their campaign against Argentina on Sunday.
Their other matches are against South Korea (Sept 23), England (Sept 25), Pakistan (Sept 26) and India (Sept 28).
The final and placing matches are scheduled for Sept 29.