Dragflick Newsdesk : The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have challenged the national men’s hockey squad to reach the semi-finals of the Asian Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia, from May 23-June 1.
MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal believes that the Malaysian Tigers can meet the target and guarantee an automatic slot in the Men’s Hockey World Cup scheduled to take place in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, India, from Jan 13-29 next year.
Subahan said the target was realistic following the latest position of A. Arul Selvaraj’s squad, who emerged as Asia’s second-best team behind India.
“We must qualify for the semi-finals on paper, we must be in the semis and reach the World Cup.
“That is the KPI (key performance indicator) set for Arul and his team. It shouldn’t be an issue because we are confident they can finish in the top four and qualify for the World Cup,” he said in a press conference at a breaking of fast ceremony with the national squad.
Subahan said the MHC were very satisfied with the performance of the national women’s team despite finishing 11th out of 16 teams in the Women’s Junior Hockey World Cup in Potchefstroom, South Africa, recently.
He also pointed out that there were outsiders who were impressed and surprised by the talents of the players.
“We’re very satisfied but a little upset because we were placed in a group of death with Germany and India who qualified for the semi-finals.
“I’m sure we could have reached the top eight if we had been placed in another group but we accept the result.”
The national women’s junior team, who were eliminated at the group stage after a draw and two losses, settled for 11th position after a 7-2 win over Zimbabwe on Monday.
Malaysia had earlier grabbed their first win in the competition by ending Uruguay 2-1 in the ninth to 16th place playoff last Thursday but lost 1-2 to Ireland in the ninth to 12th place match.