Heavy is the head that wears the crown. And that is exactly what the national juniors will feel as they commenced training in preparation for the 2nd edition of the Sultan Johor Cup that will be held from the 11-18 November at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru.
Coach K. Dharmaraj has named a 25 strong training squad 5 players on attachment with the team who are out to defend the title they won last year, edging Australia 3-2 in the final, thus giving Malaysia a dawn of hope in the future of hockey.
Seven players who are eligible to play in the Sultan Johor Cup but are currently training with the senior squad are not in the list for obvious reasons as Dharma will have to wait for national coach Paul Revington to name his Champions Challenge 1 squad before deciding on the final 18 for Johor.
The seven are Faiz Helmi Jali, Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Mohd Fitri Saari, Mohd Syamim Yusof, Mohd Azri Hassan, Muhammad Firhan Ashaari and Shazril Irwan Nazli and are eligible are eligible to play in the 2013 Junior World Cup.
In addition omitted from the team list is Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi, Faizal Saari, Mohd Ramadhan Rosli, Muhd Noor Faeez Ibrahim, Norhizzat Sumantri though eligible to play in the SOJC will not be able to play in the 2013 Junior World Cup in India.
Thus the five will not be considered for the SOJC. With the exception of Faisal, the other four played in the SOJC last year.
Three players who were in the training squads of the past, Dangerous Lee, Mohd Nor Aqmal and Harmesh Singh have been given a second chance to prove themselves.
In addition Dharma has decided to name five players on attachment - Muhamad Najib Abu Hassan, Muhammad Azwar Abd Rahman, Safeed bin Roslan, Muhammad Amirul Aideed, Nor Azrul Abdul Rahman.
Six teams, namely Pakistan, Germany, Australia, India, New Zealand and hosts Malaysia will play in the SOJC this year.
The Training Squad
Mohd Zulhairi Hashim, Mohd Shahril Saabah, Muhammad Aslam Hanafiah, Shahrul Azadd, Auskarzie, Meor Mohd Azman, Mohd Fitri Ismail, Shazrul Imran Nazli, Shazril Irwan Nazli, Ibnu Fata Illah, Muhammad Haziq Samsul, Harmeet Singh, Muhd Ashraf Zulzali, Dangerous Lee, Kavin Kartik, Muhd Hafiz Zainol, Mohamad Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri, Muhammad Firhan Ashari, Muhammad Hafizuddin Othman, Mohd Rashid Baharom, Muhammad Azrul Hasbullah, Muhammad Azri Hassan, Mohd Nor Aqmal,Sobirin Ilias, Harmesh Singh, Dedi Aryadi
Muhamad Najib Abu Hassan, Muhammad Azwar Abd Rahman, Safeed bin Roslan, Muhammad Amirul Aideed, Nor Azrul Abdul Rahman.