Monday, June 14th, 2010 10:37:00
KUALA LUMPUR: In what is a first for women's hockey in Malaysia, three former internationals have been offered a chance to play in the Western Australian League.
The three — former national skipper Nor Saliza Ahmad Soobni, A. Kanagi and Ernawati Mahmud — are scheduled to depart for Perth at the end of June to begin a three month stint in the league where they will be playing for Melville City Hockey Club. The stint was made possible by the club's women's chief coach Jiwa Mohan.
Nor Saliza, 27, represented the country from 1999 till 2004. She skippered the Junior Asia Cup team in 2000 and the national team two years later. Kanagi was active in the national team until 2008 while goalkeeper Ernawati is currently the assistant coach of the national side that played in the recent World Cup Qualifiers.
Although the trio no longer play international hockey, Jiwa was of the opinion that their inclusion will be good for both his team as well as Malaysian hockey.
"This programme is not limited to the national players alone, it can be any player with great talent," said Jiwa.
"I have five players in my list and I'm sorting out the formalities including securing leave from their employers and obtaining the approval from the national body."
The stint will provide opportunities for the players to further improve themselves and hopefully they will learn a thing or two from the Australians.
"Personally we have been talking a lot about playing in foreign land and it was good to see boys doing that. The support from various parties has been great.
"Now, it will be great to see the girls going through the same revolution. In short, this is one way of giving back to the sport," the current international added.