Kuala Lumpur (27 February, 2017): Forward Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abd Jalil makes a return to the national senior squad after a two-year absence when the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) announced an experienced squad of 18 players for the Hockey World League Round 2 scheduled to be held from March 4-12 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The 31-year-old Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scored 13 goals for Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) in the TNBMHL 2017 Premier League – seven of which came from field goals and six in penalty corners.
THT defeated Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) 5-4 in penalty shootout last Sunday to win the TNB Cup for the fourth consecutive time since 2014. It was the second trophy in THT’s closet this season after capturing the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup in January.
National senior team head coach Stephen van Huizen has also included drag-flick specialist Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim, forwards Muhammad Shahril Saabah, Rashid Baharom and Faizal Saari in the squad. They are expected to play a pivotal role in search for goals.
The Malaysian Tigers will depart for Dhaka on Tuesday (February 28) to compete in the HWL Round 2. The top two teams in Dhaka qualify for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in London from 15-27 June – a qualifying event for the 2018 World Cup.
However, goalkeeper S. Kumar – a veteran of two Asian Games, 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and four Asian Champions Trophy, has requested to be left out of the Hockey World League Round 2 as his wife is expected to deliver soon whilst Muhammad Firhan Ashaari will tie the knot in the second week of March.
Terengganu Hockey Team’s Muhammad Hafizuddin Othman and TNB Thunderbolt’s Hairi Abdul Rahman are the two goalkeepers.
“I am excited with this call-up. The last time I played for the senior team was in the 2015 World League Semi-finals in Belgium,” said Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin. “It is a great feeling to play for the national team once again and I am looking forward to giving my best in Dhaka.”
The Malaysian Tigers, placed at World No 13, are the highest ranked team in Dhaka and are drawn in Group A with Bangladesh, Oman (WR: 31) and Fiji (WR: 67) whilst Group B consist of China (WR: 18), Egypt (WR: 20), Sri Lanka (WR: 42) and Ghana (WR: 43).
The Bangladeshis are placed 32 in the FIH Hero World Rankings and won the Asian Hockey Federation Cup for the third consecutive time last year.
The Squad – Goalkeepers: Muhammad Hafizuddin Othman (THT), Mohammad Hairi Abdul Rahman (TNB Thunderbolts).
Defenders: Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim, Muhammad Sukri Abdul Mutalib, Muhammad Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Muhammad Najmi Farizal Jazlan.
Midfielders: Faiz Helmi Jali, Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor, Mohd Marhan Mohd Jalil, Mohd Fitri Saari, Meor Muhamad Azuan Hasan, Muhammad Azri Hassan.
Forwards: Joel Samuel Van Huizen, Muhammad Shahril Saabah, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil, Muhammad Rashid Baharom, Nik Muhammad Aiman Nik Rosemi, Faizal Saari.
Team manager: Mohd Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim
Head Coach: Stephen George Van Huizen
Assistant Coach: Lim Chiow Chuan