Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Malaysian hockey should look to ‘Zidane’ as model template

Malaysian international Faizal Saari finished top scorer in the men’s Malaysia Hockey League with 17 goals as Terengganu won the TNB cup final.

Terengganu beat fancied UniKL 2-0 in a shoot-out after a thrilling 4-4 draw in normal time at the National Hockey Stadium.

“It was the best final I’ve played in because we went through a myriad of emotions, ” Faizal told reporters.

“When UniKL took a 2-0 lead, I told the boys not to give up and to keep their composure. The goals will eventually come.”

Meanwhile, UniKL stalwart Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, 35, has been hailed as a template for future Malaysian stars.

The player known as ‘Zidane’ helped UniKL win the league title for the third time in succession and were gunning for a domestic treble before Terengganu’s cup exploits.

“If Malaysia have more players like him, we can conquer the world. He is so passionate about the game and I hope the others will use him as a benchmark,” UniKL coach Megat Azrafiq told the New Straits Times.

“He is an asset, but that does not mean I do not fancy the others in the team. We are the league champions because of each one of them. They have worked hard, but Tajuddin is special.

“At his age, he still wants to help the boys feel better about themselves, and even when we are up against the wall, he will find ways to navigate through the challenges.”

On an international level, Malaysia men are currently ranked 11th.

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