National hockey forward Faizal Saari knows that there are a lot of expectations on him when it comes to scoring goals.
The 27-year-old from Terengganu is not just a prolific field goal scorer but also adept at penalty corners. He has not always been on the mark for the national team in some tournaments.
For example, in 2014 he was part of the team for World Cup in The Hague, but the goals dried up for him when it mattered. He came away with just one goal from the tournament.
Now he is back for his second world cup and Faizal will again be looked upon to deliver in the front line.
High on Expectations
The unassuming and soft-spoken lad said that he was ready to do his duty and feels that the team has the experience to do better than they did in 2014.
“There is always an expectation of me. I don’t mind as that is my job – to score goals. Sometimes the pressure gets to me and i am not able to deliver. But I do not think that this is about an individual. We win or lose as a team. I will do my best to score or when possible will support the other forwards,” he said.
Faizal said the team has improved from the 2014 side and hoped to see them do better. In 2014 the team under K. Dharmaraj finished in 12th position. It was their worst showing in the World Cup.
Adapting to New Techniques, New Coach
Faizal said the team has adapted to the new coach Roelant Oltmans style and should perform better.
“Our current target is to improve on our world standing. But the long target is to ensure we qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. So, the targets for us is clear and I am sure that we will try and get the best result possible. I would like to thank the MHC for having faith in my abilities. I pray and hope that I can replay it at this world cup,” he added.
It will be a big win for him if he can score goals and take Malaysia to a higher placing. Malaysia’s best outing in the world cup was fourth in 1975 and eighth in 2002.