Coach Dharmaraj Abdullah
Coach Dharmaraj Abdullah

Yesterday’s 0-3 lost to India in the first leg of the five test match series at the Bukit Jalil National Hockey Stadium will be the first step for the Malaysian Hockey squad to strengthen the team ahead of their participation at the FIH Women’s Series Final in Ireland.

Malaysian women’s squad Coach, Muhammad Dharmaraj Abdullah said that the test match is considered as an experiment for his squad as he tried several new strategies by changing the original position of the existing players and bringing in new faces into the national team.

18-year-old, Siti Zulaikha Hussin is one such player who was brought into the team and received her first national cap through this test.

“I will see the video match to re-evaluate our weaknesses,” Dharmaraj said.

“This match I introduced a new player to play for the first time with the national team, and I experimented with changing the player’s position.

“There’s a lot of new things I’ve tried in the first tournament and we definitely have to give some time for all the players to adjust to the remaining matches,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Dharmaraj also saw a series of test matches with India being the best home-gatherer in his four-year tenure with the team and if his players are able to get a series of drawings it could be considered a good achievement.

“Two months ahead of FIH Women’s Series Final in Ireland, this is a good start for my team because this is the first time in four years that the Malaysian women’s hockey team got to play a test match at home with a really good team.

“I believe the team will be doing well and will be more successful,” he added.

Both the teams will come down for a second meeting on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 6.00pm in Malaysia time at the same venue.

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