"If only I had a few more Faisal's in my team. He is so talented and I feel he has the ability to make an impact in both the Hockey India League as well as international hockey."
Those were the words of renowned hockey coach Ric Charlesworth when met at the Dhayan Chand Hockey Stadium in New Delhi after the opening match of the Hockey India League between Delhi Waveriders and Jaypee Punjab Warriors.
Charlesworth is the coach of Mumbai Magicians while Faisal was bought by them at an auction last month for a cool USD26,000.
"There is no doubt that this boy is good and I hope that he will be able to contribute to the team in the HIL," said Charlesworth to this blogger.
"We celebrated his birthday yesterday and he has fitted in well with the other players, and I like his commitment in training.
"I feel he will be the future star and in order to do that he has to be totally focussed on what he wants to do in hockey."
Faisal was smiling sheepishly as Charlesworth put his arm around the Malaysian when requested to pose for a picture.
"I am truly realishing the chance to play in the HIL. It is a totally new experience for me and I am learning a lot from the coach as the drills are different in training and he pays special attention to every detail," said Faisal who trains in Mumbai.
"So far everything is okay, both on and off the pitch and the players ae getting along really well. I hope to find the back of the net as regularly as I can if fielded.
"Its truly a great moment in my hockey career and my hope is that in future more Malaysian players will be given a chance to play in this league."
Faisal said that while the weather was cold it would not pose much of a problem for him as it was a matter of getting used to.
On another note, Charlesworth said he was preplexed as to why this stadium was picked to host the matches as the pitch was slippery.
"One could see the players falling in this match and I wonder why they did not want to play in the othe stadium ( Shivaji Stadium)" said Charlesworth.
"We play the home team (Delhi) on Wednesday and will try to take all five points, as its always good winning the opening match."
Note: This is my 1,000 post in this blog. Thank you for the fans who visit it without fail daily and I hope to continue to serve you in the years to come.