Terengganu to blood youngsters

Terengganu coach Harun takes brave front!

Muhd Harun Al-Rashid has set a vision for Terengganu Malaysia Games women’s hockey squad.

And the second edition of the TNB-Tun Razak Cup Women’s Hockey Tournament which begins at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium on Saturday until Nov 26 is the first stage towards achieving his objective.

Terengganu, said Harun, will be led by 18 players from the Malaysia Games squad in the Tun Razak Cup that also includes six who are studying at the Bandar Penawar-based Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI).

“I decided to take the full SUKMA team to Kuala Lumpur for the tournament. These players need all the exposure they can get and the Razak Cup will be an ideal platform to start our journey,” said Harun, who was recently appointed coach.

“About 5-6 players competed in the first edition of the Tun Razak Cup last year. This team is far different from the Terengganu Women’s Hockey Team that competed in the National League last year. My objective is to give the youngsters a chance to play against fancied teams and learn from this adventure.”

“My focus is different. I want the players to be brave when playing against tougher opponents. Be brave, take the knocks and learn from mistakes. That is the only way we can improve and move forward,” added the former Singaporean national player who coached Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club for the 2016 MHL season.

Terengganu are drawn in Group A alongside defending champions Pahang, Perak, Kuala Lumpur and the Indonesian national team. The east coast side will take on Perak in Saturday’s opening match.

He added that his decision to exclude current national players Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohamed and Fatin Naimah from the squad even surprised national women’s team head coach K. Dharmaraj   who called him up for an explanation.

“I told Dharma my vision and objective and he understood. My decision also was well received by Terengganu Sports Council and Terengganu HA. We need to expose the youngsters as much as possible. It will only serve the country well in the future,” said Harun.

Rabiatul Adawiyah and Fatin, added Harun, will instead feature for Pahang in the Tun Razak Cup.

“The life span for women hockey players is very short. Unless they get absorbed in the national squad or there is a solid structure with many tournaments we will not see them around for long. They will give up the game and move forward in life,” added Harun,

The Terengganu Squad:

Goalkeepers: Nur Asma’a Ahmad Kamil, Ainnur Khairina Safiah Ahmad Ridhuan; Defenders: Tuan Nur Hidayah Tuan Ismail, Nurul Najah Farhani Abdul Rashid, Norul Ain Mutalib, Zahratul Farhana Sofea Muhammad Roslan, Siti Aisyah Md Akram; Midfielders: Nur Syuhada Suhaimi, Wan Nur Syafiqah Wan Norhisham, Nadia Zamri, Nurul Syafiqah Abdullah, Nur Syazleen Abdul Razak; Forwards: Auni Athika Ghani, Norfatin Nabila Mohamad, Siti Azlinda Atan, Nur Nazurah Mohd Rozali, Nur Aisyah Hashim, Najihah Tahir.