Aikman – China are a better team now

China are the dark horses of the World League Finals to be held in Kuala Lumpur from the 26 April to May 4.

This assessment comes from Japan’s head coach Siegfried Aikman after watching China in action in the first of five matches against his team in Japan.

China defeated Japan 2-1 in the match.

“ China has a stronger team then they were at the World Cup last December,” observed Aikman.

“ They selected the best players. These players have great basic skills and are experienced too.

“ Their level of passing and receiving is very good and they play very well as a unit.

“ They will challenge Malaysia and others. I think they will be the dark horse like Korea was at the Azlan Shah.”

They gave the Asian Games a miss but did well to finish in the 10th position at the World Cup and are currently ranked 14 in the world.

The KL leg will see the likes of Canada , Malaysia and China battling it out with five other teams for the two spots available for the two leg playoffs on October 25 and November 3.

However all three, Canada. Malaysia and China will make the playoffs irrespective of their placing in KL as they are in the top 18 bracket of teams where 14 will end up playing in the play offs.

“ I think they are more robust and they can deal better with disappointment,” said Aikman .

“China is in their final stage of preparation.”