KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 : The national men’s hockey squad is scheduled to play two test matches against Dutch clubs in the Netherlands at the end of this month, before facing Great Britain in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifying match at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre in London, early next month.
National hockey squad head coach, Roelant Oltmans, said several former world top players including Dutch penalty corner specialist, Taeke Taekema, Dutch goalkeeper master coach, Martirjn Dwyer, and also former Australia striker, Michael McCann would once again, shared their experience with the Malaysian Tigers squad during the team’s short training stint in the Netherlands.
“The players are getting better day by day, but they must always think positive, and I hope the training camp in the Netherlands would help our team improve further,” he told reporters in a press conference at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil, here, today.
Oltmans said the 21-man squad would undergo a short physical training camp in Cameron Highlands, Pahang starting on Monday, before heading for the Netherlands.
The Great Britain team will featured players from world number seven England, Wales (18) and Scotland (19).
In this regard, national forward, Muhammad Shahril Saabah is confident of sharpening his finishing touches when facing Great Britain with practice from the two warm-up matches in Holland.
“We are making preparations for the Great Britain challenge, now we will focus several particular aspects to strengthen the team in London,” said Muhammad Shahril.
Sharing the same views was defender, Syed Syafiq Syed Cholan who hoped to learn more from his teammates during their training session in Netherlands.
Malaysia are facing Great Britain on Nov 2 and 3, with the winners based on the aggregate results qualifying for Tokyo Olympics.
Malaysia lost 0-1 to Great Britain in their last encounter at the 2017 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament.