KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 – When the Razak Cup begins at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Friday, it is the beginning for newly minted hockey chief coach A. Arulselvaraj who has come with a “clean sheet” of paper to pick only the best for the national squad.
Will the former international retain the existing 32-member national training squad or will he increase the total or even reduce it.
For one Arul wants only the best for the country and the Razak Cup is the perfect venue for judge the players – both who are already in the national squad for new talent worth a call-up.
International Firhan Ashari, who is one of the 32 in the existing training squad will not feature in the Razak Cup where he was supposed to don Terengganu colors.
The 27-year-old striker has pulled out from the Terengganu due to a personal tragedy when his two-year-old daughter Nurul Ayra Delishah passed away suddenly last Saturday.
Firhan, however, is still under Arul’s radar and will be given an equal chance to find a place in the national training squad – taking into account the circumstances surrounding his withdrawal from the Terengganu team.
“I am aware that Firhan very much wants to contribute to the national team. He is an experienced player and has nearly 200 (185) caps. Not playing in the Razak Cup does not rule him out of a place in the national squad,” said Arul.
“Everything will be taken into consideration when the squad is named. I am expecting a keen jostling for a place in the training squad.”
For the record Firhan played in the 2014 World Cup in The Hague (Holland) and the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar (India). He also has a silver to show from the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.

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