There were no surprises when national coach Paul Revington revealed at a Press Conference in Bukit Jalil the 16 of 18 players to carry the Malaysian challenge in the World League Round 3 Semi Finals in Johor Baru from June 29 to July 8.
Another two players will be named next Friday, three days before the team moves to Johor Baru on June 24.
Malaysia play Argentina on June 25 and Germany on June 26 in their last lap of preparation for the WLR3 where they are in Group B with England, Pakistan and South Africa.
In Group A are Germany, Argentina, Japan and South Korea.
Revington had a chat with Malaysian Hockey on his views with the team's indifferent performances in their matches against a province team from China and their recent tour of South Africa that ended with three matches loat and a draw.
Malaysian Hockey: What are your views on conceding late goals - a Malaysian malady that has returned to haunt us. Azlan Shah final was the first, but now in two matches in South Africa?
Revs : It is never a good habit to be considered a team who concedes late goals – and you have to work extremely hard to change such a reputation. We went a long way in Azlan Shah 2012 to change that by scoring two goals versus Korea in the last 4 minutes; managing a 2-1 win in the final minute versus NZ; scoring the equalizer versus Australia (pool game) in the final minute; and scoring the equalizer versus India in the final minute too. The game against Australia in the final we conceded 2 goals in the final 3 minutes of the first half and 1 goal in the final 15 seconds.
This was purely down to physical fitness and not having the physical endurance capacity (yet) to think and function clearly under pressure against the number 2 Team in world hockey. In South Africa we suffered from mental and physical stress in the closing phases of the 2 games in question – stress that we knew the Tour would create but were disappointed not to cope better with as individuals and as a Team.
Malaysian Hockey: Who is the penalty corner specialist, that was with the team in South Africa. Who he worked on in relation to penalty corners. Will he be in Johor Baru?
Revs : Adel Fuentes is his name. He is Argentinean but lives and works (for past 12 years) in the Netherlands. He worked with 5 flickers (Faizal; Razie; Kazamirul; Fitri Saari and Firhan) throughout the phase in South Africa. It would be ideal to have him work in Johor Baru and Arul will present a proposal to the MSN to try and achieve this.
Malaysian Hockey ; There was gaps/spaces between defense and attack in our team so why was this happening?
Revs: The South African Tour was designed to create physical stress for the athletes (playing at high altitude and multiple games in a row) and this proved to be a tough aspect of games to manage all the time (pushing up on attack; reverse pressing after ball loss) whilst in SA. Every one is aware of this issue and it will be rectified come the WL 3.
Malaysian Hockey : Why name 16 now and not 18, what areas are you unsure off?
Revs : I don’t think we are necessarily unsure of various areas – more certain about 15 or 16 players and then keeping the door open as long as possible for all Squad players to fight for the remaining 2 or 3 places in the WL 3 Team in the coming week. Those players who did not tour SA will still have an opportunity to prove their worth in the coming week.
The Squad of 16
Azlan Misron. Baljit Singh. Chua Boon Huat. Faisal Saari. Faiz Helmi. Izwan Tajuddin. S.Kumar. Mohd Shukri Mutalib. Izad Hakimi. Fitri Saari. Shahrun Nabil. Mohd Marhan Jalil. Mohd Razie Rahim. Mohd Nabil Fiqri Mohd Nor. Roslan Jamaluddin. Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tg Jalil.