Women’s Hockey Asia Cup 2013: The hosts at a glance

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Ritu Rani of India (L) and Nadia Abdul R

The Malaysia Hockey Confederation has announced a strong and experienced squad of Malaysia for the upcoming Women’s Hockey Asia Cup 2013. This, being the 8th edition of this tournament, will be organised in Malaysia for the very first time. The Malaysian women’s hockey team, being a part of Asian Hockey Federation, ranks 22nd as per FIH (International Hockey Federation) world rankings.

The Malaysian squad for this tournament comprises of experienced and long-standing players. After presenting a good game of hockey at the junior level, two players from Malaysia’s national junior side have made their way into the Malaysian squad for this tournament.

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After being a member of Malaysian squad in Hockey World League rounds 1 and 2, Fatin Shafika Mohd Shukri – the 18-year-old player has succesfully occupied a place in this tournament. This Asia Cup will be her third major tournament. Fatin Shafika Mohd Shukri will be controlling the midfield position on the hockey field for Malaysia. The other young sensation is 20-year-old Nor Azlin Sumantri. She will be playing at the forward position for her team.

The 28-year-old Nadia Abdul Rahman will be leading the charge for Malaysia in this tournament. The Malaysian captain has 100 international caps to her credit till date.

As per the Malaysian Hockey Confederation, the composition of Malaysian women’s hockey team for this competition is as follows:

Goalkeepers:

Siti Noor Hafiza Zainordin and Farah Ayuni Yahya are the two names announced to manage the goalkeeping department.

Defenders:

The six names declared for the defenders position are Julaini Mohd Din, Siti Shahidah Saad, Raja Noorsharina Raja Shabuddin, Nuraini Abdul Rashid, Norhashikin Halim, and Siti Nor Amarina Ruhani.

Midfielders:

Nadia Abdul Rahman, Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohd, Noor Hasliza Md Ali, Fatin Shakira Mohd Shukri, and Nor Izaidah Ibrahim are the five names who will serve as midfielders for the Malaysian team.

Forwards:

The forward position on the field will be taken care of by Norbaini Hashim, Siti Rahmah Othman, Fazilla Sylvester Silin, Nurul Nabihan Mansor, and Nor Azlin Sumantri.

Coaches and manager:

Mohd Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim is the head coach of the team while Hanapi Hassan will be serving as the assistant coach of the team. The team is expexted to perform well under Ernawati Mahmud – the manager.

Team’s performance in previous editions:

In the 18-year long journey of Women’s Hockey Asia Cup, Malaysia have never succeeded to reach the final of the tournament. The best performance from them is 3rd position in the inaugural edition of the tournament which was held in Seoul, the capital of South Korea in the year 1985. The team was not able to qualify for the 2nd and 3rd edition of this tournament held in 1989 and 1993 in Hong Kong and Hiroshima, Japan respectively. In the last edition of this tournament held in 2009 in Bangkok, Malaysia finished in the 5th position.

Team fixtures:

Malaysia are placed in Pool A with three other nations namely India, China and Hong Kong.

On the very first day of the tournament, the hosts will be up against China in their inaugural match on 21st September 2013.

On Sunday 22nd September 2013, Malaysia will be facing Hong Kong.

On Tuesday 24th September 2013, Malaysia will be facing India’s challenge in their last match of the group stages.

With home soil advantage and home crowd support, Malaysia will be trying their level best to give a satisfactory performance in this edition of the Asia Cup.

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