Selangor Journal
The Tun Abdul Razak Cup trophy. — Picture by BERNAMA

Tun Abdul Razak Cup: Perak eyes fourth straight title, Selangor going for second helping

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — Twenty-five teams have confirmed their participation in the 2023 Tun Abdul Razak Cup hockey competition that will be held at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil and the Ministry of Education Hockey Stadium in Lembah Pantai from tomorrow until October 21.

Of the total, 13 teams will slog it out in the men’s category, while 12 teams will compete in the women’s category, where they will be divided into two groups.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Competitions Committee chairman Datuk Seri Anil Jeet Singh told a media conference today that Sarawak and Kelantan will not be taking part in both categories, while Kedah is sending only their men’s team and Sabah only their women’s team.

73 players — 22 from the men’s senior team, 28 from the men’s junior team and 23 from the women’s team — are not allowed to compete in this season’s tournament as they have not received national clearance.

This year’s men’s category will feature teams from the Armed Forces (ATM), Perak, Johor, Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Melaka, Perlis, Penang, Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Selangor, and Kedah.

Selangor, Penang, ATM, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah, Perak, Melaka, Pahang, Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur, PDRM, and Johor will battle it out for glory in the women’s section.

Meanwhile, Perak men’s team coach K. Rajan admitted it would be tough for them to win the title for a fourth straight time, now that the national players are not allowed to participate this year.

“We have four new players this year, and I hope the combination of new faces and the more experienced players will strengthen our squad. We feel pressured because we have won the title for the past three years.

“Anyway, from what I have seen in training, this group of players have what it takes to be champions again,” said Rajan, who took charge of the men’s team last month.

Selangor women’s team coach Ikmal Abdul Jabar feels they have a good chance to retain the title.

“We come as defending champions in this edition, but I do not want to heap pressure on my players… I would prefer them to take it one game at a time,” he said.

The Perak men’s team had bagged a title hat-trick when they trounced Pahang 5 – 1 in last year’s final, while Selangor emerged as the women’s champions after edging Melaka 3 – 2.

— Bernama

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