KUALA LUMPUR: Teamwork and on-court skills will play a key role in the national’s team quest for gold in the first round of the ISTAF SuperSeries 2016.
Right apit of the national sepak takraw squad, Hanafiah Dollah said the squad, under the guidance of coach Abdul Talib Ahmad, has all the ingredients necessary to continue their good showing from last season if they improve on those aspects of their game.
Hanafiah feels that the national squad has a fair chance of coming out triumphant in one or two rounds of the ISTAF SuperSeries if they work hard and improve their on-court abilities.
“The chemistry amongst us players is getting better and if we stick together as a team, we can beat any team,” said Hanafiah.
Moreover, the 25- year-old added that they would still need to improve on their defence and the ability to read the game.
“It is still one of our major weaknesses but the coaches are already developing specific strategies and training methods to rectify our vulnerabilities,” said Hanafiah.
Currently, Hanafiah is one of two killers in the squad as he is competing with teammate Khairol Zaman Hamir Akhbar for a starting berth. Both of them were in the national team that won the gold medal in the SEA Games in Singapore last June.
Hanafiah, alongside Khairol, Farhan Adam, Syahir Rosdi and Aizat Azmi broke a 10-year gold medal drought in the biennial event as they beat Laos, Singapore and the Philippines en route to securing the gold medal.
Interestingly, the same squad was victorious in Melaka February last year when they beat arch-rivals Thailand in the final of the ISTAF SuperSeries Malaysia 2014/2015.
Based on those achievements, Hanafiah, who represented Northern Rangers from Kedah in the recently concluded SepakTakraw League 2015, is confident Malaysia can brush aside just about any other team when they hit top form.
However, he will not play a part in the first leg of the ISTAF SuperSeries 2016 as he will be busy tying the knot with his partner at that time.
“I will only return to the training camp after the first leg is over. Regardless, I’m sure the coach will select the best players for the squad,” said Hanafiah.
“He has a large pool of quality players to select from, but he has also said before that he want to give the players more exposure. So this is an excellent opportunity to test the players, “added Hanafiah.
Released by Shekhinah PR on behalf of Asia Sports Ventures.
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