Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Project 2013 team to represent country in SEA Cup

KUALA LUMPUR: The Project 2013 team will once again represent Malaysia in the SEA Cup which will be held in Yangoon, Myanmar, from Dec 10-18.

The SEA Cup is organised by the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) during the SEA Games year when hockey is not included as an event at the biennial games.

The SEA Games this year is held in Indonesia next month and hockey is not among the 43 sports listed. Similarly, in 2009 hockey was not in the programme in Laos and the SEA Cup was inaugurated with the tournament held in Bangkok.

The Project team also represented Malaysia in that meet and came out champions after beating Singapore in the final.

Project 2013 coach K. Dharmaraj confirmed that they would play in Yangoon.
“We are not sure how many entries are expected but we have been told that the tournament will be held in December.

“It is good to have another tournament to play in as we can continue to build on our team work and at the same time experiment with the players. It will be a good tournament as well for the players,’ said Dharmaraj.
The Project team are being prepared for the 2013 Junior World Cup. But next May they will have to play in the Junior Asia Cup which will serve as one of the qualifiers for the Finals. Malaysia is expected to host the Junior Asia Cup.

Dharmaraj said they would be using these tournaments as part of their preparations for the qualifiers. The team will play in the Sultan of Johor Cup which will be held at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru from Nov 5-12.

A world class line-up has been invited for the meet. Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and South Korea will feature in the six-nation meet.

“This is also another big meet for us. We will have some quality matches and at the same time gauge our strength against the top teams in the Junior ranks.

“I hope to have my full side but at the moment, I have four players who are with the senior national team. I will only know later this month if these five players will be released for the tournament. It is likely that some of them may be selected for the senior side for the Champions Challenge I,” he added.

The five players in the senior team are Mohamed Firhan Azhaari, Faiz Helmy, Fitri Saari, Faisal Saari and Amir Farid. All are expected to be first-choice players with the Project team.

“I have not had my full complement of players at any tournament yet.

“But I am hoping that some of these players will be released so that we can try them out.

“They have gained experience with the seniors but they still need to have an understanding with the others in the junior team,” he added.

The team have been set a target of making the final in the Champions Challenge I while for the Yangoon tournament, they have been told to retain the title by the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF).


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