Keep it simple boys

Wednesday, 04 December 2013 12:25

he National Juniors have been told to stop show-boating and keep it simple.

The Malaysians, who are here for the Junior World Cup, played a friendly against Germany on Tuesday and lost 2-0.

The tournament proper begins on Friday.

Team manager Mirnawan Nawawi described the friendly as “a good practice game because the Germans pushed hard”.

“The players have to take these matches seriously and put into practice what they have been taught. The fancy dribblings and poor clearances must stop,” he warned.

“Overall, we gave everyone a chance to play in the friendly and, in that sense, it was a good workout.”

Mirnawan, however, was critical of the penalty corner set piece moves.

“We had three attempts and failed. They were not well executed and that’s not good. I want the players to make better attempts and make scoring a habit,” he said of the flicks taken by Mohd Shahril Saabah.

The other penalty corner flicker in the team is Zulhairi Hashim.

“There were also some shortcomings in the way we defended against Germany. We want to use this friendly to show the players the errors of their ways and rectify their mistakes before we play New Zealand (in the opening match) on Friday,” said Mirnawan.

After the match ended, the Malaysians spent 20 minutes sharpening their penalty corner moves.

The Malaysians will hold two training sessions on Wednesday and Mirnawan has also asked Pakistan for a friendly in the evening.

“It’ll be good for the players to have another go and test the pitch. But we’ve had a good workout over the last couple of days and are ready for the first match,” he said.

“The players just have to follow orders and not get carried away with individual play. By keeping it simple, the players can enjoy the match and perform better.”

The weather has been kind to the team the last few days too. Malaysia’s first match, against New Zealand on Friday, is at 4pm (6.30pm Malaysian time) and it’s not as cold as expected, for now.

Besides the Kiwis, the other teams in Malaysia’s Group D are South Africa and England.

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