Keeper S.Kumar will not be in between the posts during the Hockey India League match between Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Jaypee Punjab Warriors at the Surjit Singh stadium in Jalandhar tonight.
But that does not deter the Malaysian, who won numerous awards as best goalkeeper, from fighting for a place in the team in coming matches. Not even the fact that coach Roelant Oltmans told Kumar that he will not be playing for the next three matches has made any negative impact on Kumar.
For the Tampin born lad is made of sterner stuff, knowing that George Beazley of Australia was always going to get the nod ahead of him. And Kumar hopes to prove his worth when given the chance to make the position his permanently.
"The coach told me that in the first three matches George will keep goal and that does not bother me as it is important the team does well overall," said Kumar when met in Jalandhar today.
"But I am looking forward to be fielded and am focussed on winning the numero uno job as far as keeping goal is concerned."
Kumar said that he was probably 10 years too late in playing in foregn leagues and hopes that in future more talented players are sent out to play at a younger age.
"I should have gone abroad to play as the experience is totally different. We may be the best but there is no end to the learning process<" said Kumar.
"Just look at my position here, as I get to train with players who have tons of experience in both the Olympics and World Cup. And it does make a world of difference.
"There are new skills on cam pick up, new training drills and above all pick up pointers from those who have played at the highest level."
The Malaysian custodian said there were many good thing in the HIL that should be implemented in the Malaysian Hockey League and hopes that the MHC will look into this.