Pahang remain cautious

Press Release

KLHA

TNB Razak Cup

Over-confidence is bad for Pahang

Pahang team manager Nuriza Sulaiman has cautioned the defending champions not to be ‘over confident’ despite having the services of seven current and one former international player in the squad.

The timely warning comes as Pahang enjoys the ‘favourites tag’ in the second edition of the TNB-Tun Abdul Razak Cup Women’s Hockey tournament that starts on Saturday until Nov 26 at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium.

The week-long championship is hosted by Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association.

“It is dangerous to be over confident. Yes, we have a strong team on paper with national players but we must respect our opponents in every match. They (opponents) are all preparing well for the tournament and anything can happen if we don’t take it seriously,” said Nuriza.

Pahang have in their line-up defender Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani, midfielder Wan Norfaiezah Saiuti, drag-flick specialist Nuraini Rashid, Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohamed, S. Priyangga, Siti Zaidah, Fatin Nuraini and former international Nadia Abdul Rahman.

The team, said Nuriza, will travel to Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday (Nov 15). They will start their first training session at the Tun Razak Hockey Stadium in Jalan Duta later in the evening.

“We have planned three training sessions which will give the seniors and Malaysia Games (SUKMA) players a chance to understand the structure in the team. But we also wary the rainy spell in the Klang Valley,” she said.

“Our target is to win the Tun Razak Cup for the second consecutive year and we hope to achieve this mission,” she said.

Pahang are drawn in Group A alongside Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Terengganu and the Indonesian national team. Group B consists of Selangor, Armed Forces, Melaka and Johor.

The east coast side will open their campaign against Terengganu on Saturday followed by matches against Kuala Lumpur (Nov 19), Indonesia (Nov 20) and Perak (Nov 21) before taking a one-day break. The classification matches begin on Nov 23.

“We have seen the Indonesians compete in the recent Southeast Asian Games (SEA). They are not all that bad a side and we have to respect them, just like the other teams in the tournament. We will go into the tournament and take one match at a time,” said Nuriza, adding that Pahang have a tight fixture in the tournament.

“We play four matches over four days and it is going to be taxing. However, the fitness level of the players is good, especially the national players, who have just returned from competing in the Asia Cup recently.”

Pahang coach, Mohd Ashraf Benedict Abdullah, a former Malaysian international, according to Nuriza, has decided to retire from coaching after the tournament.

“He has been coaching the state teams for 22 years and winning the championship again will be a grand gift. We aim to present him with this special gift,” she said.

Pahang won the inaugural championship last year following a 4-0 mauling of Armed Forces in the final. Skipper Nuraini converted from a penalty corner to put Pahang in the lead, Noorain Mohd Arshad doubled the advantage, Wan Nor Faiezah made it 3-0 and Nuraini claimed her second and Pahang’s fourth goal.