The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) unveiled a list of 46 probable players for the national senior men’s team first training session under the care of newly-appointed head coach Sarjit Singh.

The selection of players was based on their performances during the just concluded TNB-Malaysia Hockey League.

All the players are scheduled to assemble on March 19 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil for a 12-day training session, concluding on March 30. Training will begin at 9.45pm after the breaking of fast.

MHC deputy president Dato Ahmad Najmi Abdul Razak, who is also the national team management committee chairman, said 30 players will be shortlisted on April 1 for the next phase of training. The final squad of 18 players will named before the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (May 4-11).

The national team will also compete in the Six-Nation Cup in Gniezno, Poland (May 31- June 9), and the Asian Champions Trophy in Hulunbuir City, Inner Mongolia (from Sept 8-17).

MHC also announced Muhamad Sukri Mutalib, a teacher at the Bukit Jalil Sports School, and Azrul Effendy Bistamam as the two assistant coaches while S. Kumar has been appointed goalkeeper coach.

“We may have had some good and bad results before this so it has been a roller coaster ride for us. However, in the observation of MHC president Dato Sri Subahan Kamal, and MHC, our message to all the 46 players is simple. You have been allowed to play and train for the Malaysian national team.

“It is not an easy thing to be given to you. So please take this opportunity and fight for your place in the team, and also play hard for the country,” said Dato’ Ahmad Najmi.

He also stressed that at the end of the day the goals are the bigger task ahead when Malaysia face stronger teams in international tournaments.

“And I also don’t want to hear from all of the 46 players that you have personal problems, just as my experience before this, and are unable to give your fullest commitment. My advice is to accept this chance with responsibility or we will never call you up again in future,” he added.

Sarjit, who featured in the 1984 Los Angeles and 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and also captained the national team from 1987-1993, has been entrusted by MHC to design a platform and winning formula for the national team.

Some senior players such as drag-flick specialist Razie Rahim is omitted from the list but Sarjit said Razie’s services can be utilised to guide the team in training. He is prepared to help out.

In the absence Razie, Sarjit has singled out Faizal Saari and former national junior team captain Muhammad Faris Harizan as capable in playing that role.

“Firstly, we have a long-term plan. The plan is always four to six years. I am giving opportunity to younger players. In 2 years’, time they will be better players and I believe in them. They will be much better players if they are discipline and with the exposure gained,” he said.

Sarjit said the selection process blends experienced senior players and youngsters. He has selected 14 players who are 21-years-old and below. The youngest among them is 18-year-old Muhammad Adam Ashraf Mohd Johari who competed at the 2023 Junior World Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

The head coach also named 18 players between the ages of 22–25, eight players between the ages of 26-28, and six players above 29 years age. The six senior players are goalkeeper Syed Mohamad Syafiq Syed Cholan (29, TNB), Muhammad Najib Abu Hassan (29, TNB), Mohd Fitri Saari (31, THT), goalkeeper Muhammad Hafizzudin Othman (32, THT), Faizal Saari (33, THT), and Muhamad Marhan Jalil (34, TNB).

Sarjit added that selection was based on the players current ages and their availability to feature in the 2026 Asian Games. “We have four players who are above 30 – Marhan, Faizal, Fitri and Hafizuddin. I must say that Faizal, Marhan and Fitri are exceptional players and we need to build the team around them.”

“Our focus will be on the 2026 Asian Games and we are giving opportunity to all the players who played well in the MHL. Now that they have the chance, which is not easy to get, they must prove to us they are good and deserve to be in the squad of 30,” said Sarjit at a press conference at the MHC office in Bukit Jalil today. “

“We will have a good competition. The 46 players will be divided into three teams and they will play 8 matches among themselves. In total they will play 480 minutes. Each player would have a minimum playing time of 320 minutes,” added Sarjit.

“Some players may adapt well in playing other position also and that is a plus factor. In today’s modern hockey game players are very versatile and can play in other positions too when needed,” added Sarjit.

List of 46 players in the national training squad:

Goalkeepers: Muhammad Hafizuddin Othman (THT), Muhamad Zaimi Mat Deris (Maybank), Adrian Andy Albert (UiTM), Muhamad Rafaizul Mohd Sani (TNB Thunderbolts), Che Shahrul Azmi Che Saufi (Nurinsafi Sporting), Muhammad Danish Afnan Mohd Faizal (KL City).

Defenders: Muhamad Faris Harizan (THT), Syarman Mat Tee (THT), Andy Walfian Jeffrynus (THT), Muhammad Arif Syafie Ishak (THT), Muhamad Firdaus Omar (THT), Luqman Nul Hakim Ahmad Shukran (THT), Syed Mohamad Syafiq Syed Cholan (TNB), Muhamad Amirul Hamizan Azahar (TNB), Muhamad Najib Abu Hassan (TNB), Muhamad Marhan Jali (TNB), Muhamad Kamarulzaman Kamaruddin (Maybank), Perabu Tangaraja (UiTM HA-KPT).

Midfielders: Fitri Saari (THT), Abdul Khaliq Hamirin (THT), Mughni Mohamad Kamal (TNB), Nik Muhamad Aiman Nik Rozemi (TNB), Muhamad Izham Azhar (Maybank), Alfarico Lance Liao Jr (Maybank), Nursyahmi Zulkifli (Maybank), Muhamad Syawal Abdul Razak (Maybank), Adam Ashraf Mohd Johari (Nat Junior), Muhamad Saifuddin Azli (Sabah), Mohd Khairil Hakimi Zainol (Johor).

Forwards: Faizal Saari (THT), Akhimullah Anuar Esook (THT), Shello Silverius (TNB), Muhamad Danish Aiman Khairul Anuar (TNB), Muhamad Azrai Aizad Abu Kamal (TNB), Norsyafiq Sumantri (TNB), Muhajir Abdu Rauf (Maybank), Shafiq Ikhmal Daniel Suzaini (Maybank), Muhamad Amirul Haniff Mamat (TNB Thunderbolt), Azimuddin Syakir Kamaruddin (TNB Thunderbolt), Naaveennash Panicker (TNB Thunderbolt), Harris Iskandar Osman (TNB Thunderbolt), Sriraam Vikneswaran (KL City), Nur Rahull Hrsikesa Thaitchana Muruthi (Nurinsafi Sporting), Muhibuddin Moharam (UiTM HA-KPT), Tengku Nasrul Ikmal Tengku Abd Rahim (Young Elephants Pahang), Eswaran George (JM Antsbees).

- Advertisement -