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UniKL brace for rejuvenated Nur Insafi

 

 

 

Kuala Lumpur (22 January, 2019): NEVER judge a book by its cover.

Nur Insafi is slowly showing signs of rising to be a quality opposition in the 2019 TNB-MHL Premier League and coach S. Thaitchana wants his players to continue the momentum against Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) on Friday at the Tengku Abdullah Stadium in Bangi.

Reported by

Fazil Mahmud
UniKL Reporter

Kuala Lumpur (22 January, 2019): NEVER judge a book by its cover.

Nur Insafi is slowly showing signs of rising to be a quality opposition in the 2019 TNB-MHL Premier League and coach S. Thaitchana wants his players to continue the momentum against Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) on Friday at the Tengku Abdullah Stadium in Bangi.

And UniKL team manager Dato’ Amir Azhar Ibrahim and coach S. Arul Selvaraj have acknowledged the ‘threat’ from the Sungai Petani-based outfit that scored a 2-0 win over Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) last week to secure their first win in the league following consecutive defeats against Maybank (5-1), Tenaga Nasional Berhad (10-0) and Terengganu Hockey Team (6-1) respectively.

“Well, we have not gel as a team and found the best tactics. Time will tell. But Nur Insafi got a good win against a good UiTM side so we can’t take them lightly come Friday as they also have experienced players and a few former UniKL players with them,” said Dato’ Amir.

UniKL are third in the pool standings after three matches with seven points – two adrift of TNB and three behind leader THT followed by Maybank (6 points) and Nur Insafi moving up to fifth spot (3 points).

Coach Arul, echoed: “We have only played three games so far (1 draw and 2 wins). The key is consistency in individual and team performance. I expect every player on the pitch to play their very best even if he is on the field for just two or three minutes.”

“The mood in the team is great. Looks like all 20 players are happy with their role in the team. So we want to get better and better every game and rectify the little tactical or concept errors. Thank God we have a great group of players this year,” he added.

He added that his ultimate goal is to remind the players that the team goal is more important than their personal target.

Former international Ismail Abu gave Nur Insafi the lead in the 26th minute against UiTM and Nur Rahul Hrsikesa Thaitchana Muruthi doubled the score in the 51st minute.

Nur Insafi boss Thaitchana has now channelled all his resources towards the all-important encounter against UniKL.

With national midfielder Joel van Huizen, former Kuala Lumpur striker Syamim Mohd Yusof and experienced players such as Ismail Abu, Baljit singh, Harmit Singh, Jiwa Mohan and Keevan Raj in the side, Nur Insafi have reinforced the team with Pakistanis – Abdul Asim Khan, Imran Abbas, Muhammad Kashif Abbas and former Pakistan captain and Olympian Waseem Ahmed.

Waseem, regarded as one of the best left halves in the world retired from international hockey after the 2012 London Olympics, is expected to arrive this week to add bite into Nur Insafi midfield and attacking machinery.

“UniKL is not just a national team (comprising international players from different nations) but a world class team,” said Thaitchana. “They have a lot of good players but we want to give them a good fight. Winning or losing does not matter. If we give them a good fight our performance counts. And if we can cause an upset is much better.”

“I don’t want people to go on and talk bad about us. We have built this team all along with so much effort. We have a lot of youngsters from the last Sukma squad (Malaysia Games) and University students and when they go on the field playing against oppositions with big names off course they are many levels behind.”

“Let’s be fair to us. These University students have sacrificed a lot. They come to the ground for matches and then rush off for classes or exams,” he added.

“My intention is the youngsters gain experience and the team play good hockey. Winning or losing does not matter. A good performance counts a lot which will eventually motivate them.”

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