KUALA LUMPUR: Project 2013 defender Faiz Helmi Jalil is looking forward to the final run of the team’s Asian Junior Cup (AJC) preparations.
Faiz was away from the team for several months as he was with the national team.
Having been dropped from the national team that travelled to Dublin for the London Olympics qualifiers, Faiz wants to enjoy a good outing at the AJC in Malacca next month.
For the record, the senior team failed to qualify for the Olympics.
“Although I did not make the team, it was sad that we didn’t qualify. But it will serve to motivate the Project 2013 boys during the AJC.
“Everyone (the players) knows what is at stake at the AJC,” said Faiz.
The AJC also serves as a qualifier for the Junior World Cup in India next year. The boys have long been geared for this and their performance at the Sultan of Johor Cup (SOJC) last year showed great promise.
At the SOJC, the lads surprised to win the tournament despite a relatively strong field of international teams.
Faiz missed the three friendly matches the national juniors played against Pakistan earlier this week due to a hamstring injury he suffered a fortnight ago.
Now that he has almost recovered, Faiz is looking forward to the final lap of friendly matches. The team will play four matches against South Korea at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil starting Saturday.
They just completed a three-match series against Pakistan. They suffered two losses before defeating the visitors in the last match.
“It would have been good if I had played against Pakistan as well but the boys played well and showed improvement. Despite the loss, we are not panicking as we tried different tactics.
“I don’t know if the same will be done against Korea but it’s better to test everyone and use different variations now,” Faiz added.