KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — National women’s hockey skipper Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani is confident of pulling off an upset against Group B favourites Ireland when both teams meet in the World Hockey Women’s League second series (WHWL) next Monday.
Siti Noor said after playing a number of friendly matches last year, the confidence of the players has grown by leaps and bounds to face Ireland, ranked world number 16.
“The team has been preparing for the WHWL since last year and we are confident of facing our opponents, especially top teams like Ireland. Every player has a role to play and I am confident they will rise to the occasion,” she told reporters after beating Wales 2-0 in an international friendly, yesterday.
The 27-year-old said though the confidence level of the players is high, players need to make full use of the chances created, especially when the strikers are presented with goal scoring opportunities.
“We need to be focused in every department and reduce the number of mistakes to ensure victory,” she said.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Farah Ayuni Yahya, voted the Best Goalkeeper in Asia at the Asian Champions Trophy in Singapore last November, said since she had only returned to the team two weeks ago, she would have to adopt to the tactical approach introduced by National coach Muhammad Dharma Raj Abdullah.
“I have been able to blend with the team since returning to the team but need to work extra hard to improve the understanding among players,” she said.
Malaysia are drawn in Group B of the WHWL and open their campaign against Hong Kong on Jan 14, followed by Ireland (Jan 16) and Kazakhstan on Jan 17. — Bernama