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Hockey: Players Must Fight For Natioal Squad Slot

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KUALA LUMPUR – All players should use the opportunity to prove their capabilities and match players like Faizal Shaari as well as Azlan Misron and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil who are no longer with the national squad, said men’s national hockey squad chief coach, Stephen Van Huizen.

He said the 40 players who had been called up to undergo training needed to meet the challenges to be absorped in the team before the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Hockey Championship in April.

“In February, we will make our decision. Only 25 players will be chosen (for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup). We will set up another team with players who are not selected.

“So it is important for the 40 players called up to seize the opportunity to make the grade in the top 25,” he told reporters at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil here today.

However, only 38 of the 40 players attended the first training session today as Mohd Shahrun Nabil Abdullah and Muhammad Najmi Farizal Jazlan were given leave today to settle their personal matters.

According to Van Huizen, the national squad needed to be prepared for a new transition in the preparation for the 2017 World Cup qualifying round.

“We did not only lose Faizal but Azlan and Tengku (Ahmad Tajuddin). All players should make use of this opportunity.

“Faizal is not in our programme for six months but his opportunity after that is still open. He has to undergo training and improve his own performance especially when playing in the Tun Abdul Razak Cup this year,” he said.

National sensational striker, Faizal was suspended for six months for disciplinary problems.

Meanwhile, Azlan has retired from the national squad while Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin was not listed. – BERNAMA

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