Razie Abd Rahim and Syed Muhammad Syafiq
Pic: Malaysian Hockey Confederation
The outbreak of the Coronavirus 2019(COVID-19), which led to many tournaments had to be postponed or canceled and the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2020 Championship which is due to take place on April 11-18, will also have the effect of having to be postponed.
But two experienced nationals, Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim and Syed Muhammad Syafiq Syed Cholan are of the view that the postponement of the National Men’s squad is now in the process of forming a new team.
National penalty corner specialist Razie Rahim sees it as a great opportunity for new players to join the team using the time they have to adapt to the team’s system as well as build their confidence in international matches.
“For the initial planning of the team undergoing training in preparation for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, but now it is known that the tournament has been postponed.
“I think the postponement can also be seen from the positive side of the team, where we have more time to build a better team especially with the presence of new players joining the team.
“These players can adapt to the current system and tactics that will be implemented in the upcoming games.
“The experience of playing on the international stage is very important, especially in high-quality matches and meetings with teams that are ranked higher than us.
“It is very helpful for new players to join the team especially to build their confidence in meeting great teams and to collect as much experience as they can,” Razie Rahim said after the training session.
Also present with Razie Rahim is another experienced defender Syed Syafiq who looks to postpone the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup as an opportunity for new players with the team to fully understand the tactics the coach is planning.
Syed Syafiq also expressed his view that they could go through friendly matches or tests that could test tactics and understanding with new players.
“We are training as usual and now the coach has more time to give exposure to players who are new to the team and we are currently in the process of further strengthening the players.
“In addition, the coach is also implementing new tactics to adapt to the new team situation.
“The suspension of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is a good thing for me as coaches have more time to make their selection and players also have time to adjust to the new tactics introduced by the coach.
“But I hope that we will go through some games to keep the momentum of the game going and it will also help us to apply the tactics the coach has implemented.
“The match can also serve as a benchmark for what this new team has to offer as we have been training for a long time,” said Syed Syafiq of Ipoh, Perak.

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