KUALA LUMPUR: The Bangladesh team are using Malaysia as the base for their final phase of training in preparation for next month’s Asia Cup hockey tournament in Dhaka.
They will play four friendlies here as part of their preparations, beginning with a match against the National Juniors today.
The National Juniors are preparing for the Sultan of Johor Cup, which will be held in Johor Baru next month.
Bangladesh will play a second match against the juniors before facing the national senior team on Saturday and Sunday.
The natoinal senior team are also preparing for the Asia Cup, which will be held from Oct 11-22.
All the matches will be held at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Malaysia have 28 players in their training squad and the final 18 are expected to be named after the two friendlies against Bangladesh.
National coach Stephen van Huizen (pic) said he already knows the core of the team, but “I’d like to take a look at the fringe players before making a final decision”.
Stephen recently called up five young players from the development squad to join the seniors in training.
He was happy to play the two friendlies against Bangladesh as “they will give us some quality practice matches”.
In Dhaka, host Bangladesh are in Group A with India, Pakistan and Japan. Malaysia are in Group B with South Korea, China and Oman.
The Asia Cup will also serve as a qualifier for the 2018 World Cup Finals. India, Malaysia and Pakistan have already qualified for the Finals.
South Korea, Japan and China have yet to make the cut and they will be eyeing the Asia Cup title to seal a ticket to the World Cup Finals.