# Malaysia is the odd team out in the six-nation meet

# Rest of the five teams will be playing in the Junior World Cup Finals in Lucknow


By Rizal Abdullah

Australia, England, Japan, New Zealand and Pakistan – five of the six teams competing in this year’s Sultan of Johor Cup Under-21 Invitational hockey tournament will using the meet to prepare their teams to the Junior World Cup Finals – except for Malaysia.

Malaysia failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals in Lucknow, India from Dec 8-18 and will use the tournament to expose their development squad in the annual meet – the only Under-21 tournament apart from the Junior World Cup.

Malaysia will open their campaign against England in the 6th edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup to be held at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru Tournament against England. The tournament is from Oct 31 to November 6.

After playing England, Malaysia will up against Australia ( November 1) , Pakistan ( November 2 ), Japan ( November 4 ) and lastly New Zealand ( November 5).

The Sultan of Johor Cup is organised by the Johor Hockey Association with Malaysia emerging in the the inaugural tournament in 2011.

The national development squad is currently playing in the Australian Hockey League with the senior and development teams.

Three players, Najmi Farizal Azlan, Nik Aiman Nik Rozemi and Najib Hassan are with the senior team.

Those with the development squad coached by Wallace Tan are Rizwan Azmi, Firdaus Omar, Lukman Nur Hakim, Nor Azmi Rahman, Syed Shafiq Syed Choulan, Amirul Aideed,  Ashran Hamsani, Rafizul Ezry Mustafa, Norsyafiq Sumantri, Sufi Ismat Rohulmin and Akhimullah Anuar.

However the three in the senior squad coached by Stephen van Huizen may be required to play in the Asian Hockey Federation’s Champions Trophy that will be held in Kuantan from October 20 – 30.

A few other players are currently in training and the team is expected to have a couple of days training in Johor Baru before the tournament.

” We will take it one match at a time and I have an indication of the players that will carry our challenge in the tournament,” said Wallace.

” It will be a tough tournament as most teams are gearing up for the Junior World Cup.

” We hope to get a positive result and play good Hockey”.

Meanwhile, in conjunction with the tournament, JHA will also be organising a Level 2 MHC coaching course as well as a two day coaching seminar for Johor coaches.

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