Junior Asia Cup dates moved, Malaysia can sigh relief

In what can be considered a reprieve for the National Juniors squad, they were fortunate that the Asian Hockey Federation Executive Board in their Meeting last Saturday have moved the dates of the Asia Junior Cup.

Originally scheduled to be held in Japan in May next year, the tournament, which serves as a qualifier for the 2021 Junior World Cup will not be held in Bangladesh.

And it could see the initial dates being moved from May to November.

In fact Bangladesh Hockey Association cane out of the meeting smiling as not only were they awarded the Junior Asia Cup ( Men) but they also won the right to host the 2020 Asian Champions Trophy, which most likely will be held in October 2020.

The Asia Junior Cup for women remains in Japan and will be held in May.

However nothing has been revealed as so far as the preparation of the Malaysian team for this tournament.

For the record , Malaysia has yet to qualify for the Women’s Junior World Cup.

As for the men, they finished 4th in the 2013 Junior World Cup but failed to make it to the next edition as they were knocked out by South Korea in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan.

The team however did play in the 2017 Junior World Cup as Pakistan withdrew and Malaysia replaces them .

The shift of dates should be welcomed by Juniors coach Nor SAIFUL Zaini as it will provide him with more time to prepare his squad.

The Juniors hardly had any matches at international level with their first major test expected to be in October when they play in the 9th Sultan Johor Cup.

In the fixtures released, Malaysia Open their campaign at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium on October 13 against India followed by Australia the next day.

Aftar fa days rest they square of against New Zealand, Great Britain and Japan.