Speedy Tigers to play as a team, forge winning mentality

Datuk Mirnawan Nawawi

KUALA LUMPUR – Play as a team, have a high-performance attitude and forge a winning mentality.

There are three aspects national hockey team manager Datuk Mirnawan Nawawi hopes to see the Speedy Tigers achieve in their 10-match Tour of the United Kingdom series from Sept 26-Oct 16, including two games against Ireland on Oct 5 and 6 in Lisnasharragh, Belfast.

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In trying to build the culture of playing as a team, he said it was to get the players to put the team ahead of any individual.

“We also intend to inculcate a new attitude and aptitude among the players. They must not focus on beating Ireland only but must forge a competitive mentality of wanting to beat every team.

“We must use the UK Tour as best possible to reach the next level,” he said when contacted by Bernama today, adding that victories over Ireland would be crucial to maintaining the national team’s 11th spot in the world ranking.

Meanwhile, Mirnawan said the national players, who arrived at the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre on Sunday (Sept 19), managed to adapt to the climate and time difference, as well as being comfortable with the halal and healthy food provided.

He said although they were still undergoing the five-day quarantine, the players were allowed to train after all of them tested negative for COVID-19 on the second day.

According to him, the Speedy Tigers will continue to train in Bisham Abbey until they complete all four friendlies against club sides Old Georgians on Sunday (Sept 26), Surbiton HC (Sept 28), Hampstead & Westminster HC (Sept 29) and Beeston HC (Oct 1).

Malaysia will then take on Ireland, followed by friendlies against Wales (Oct 9 & 12) at the Wales Hockey Centre and Reading Hockey Centre respectively before completing their Tour of UK against France (Oct 15 & 18) at the Wales Hockey Centre.