Faiz Helmi back to add steel to speedy tigers backline

KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 (Bernama) — Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) defensive stalwart Faiz Helmi Jali has been recalled to strengthen the national hockey team who will embark on their European International Tour Series from July 1 to July 14.

National men’s hockey team head coach Sarjit Singh said the Speedy Tigers would benefit from the presence of the vastly experienced 32-year-old, who will add steel to the backline.

“Having competed in two tournaments, the coaches feel that we need the services of a more experienced player to add value to the team and Faiz Helmi deserves a recall.

“He has trained for two weeks and the coaches have seen how he can help the team,” he said in a statement issued by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) today.

Faiz Helmi, who has won 215 caps, last played for the Speedy Tigers in the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Oman in January. He was also not on the radar when Sarjit focused on building a new-look young team to gear up for the 2026 Asian Games in Japan.

Meanwhile, Sarjit said the tour series would be a platform for him and his coaches to evaluate the players’ performance levels, especially in high-intensity matches.

“The coaching lineup also hopes that the team can rectify the mistakes identified at the two previous tournaments and every player must up their game. They must improve themselves to help the team and learn as much as possible from some of the world’s best teams,” he said.

Apart from Faiz Helmi, young forward Tengku Nasrul Ikmal Hakimie Tengku Abd Rahim has also been recalled after being dropped from the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and Nations Cup tournaments recently.

Having dropped five players – goalkeeper Adrian Andy Albert; defenders Luqman Nul Hakim and Muhammad Arif Syafie Ishak; and midfielders Mughni Mohamad Kamal and Naaveennash Panicker – Sarjit will take only 20 players on the tour series.

The Speedy Tigers will play seven matches in the tour series against some of the world’s top hockey nations like the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and India as well as the Monchengladbach Hockey Club.

Of the seven matches, six are friendlies while the match against Germany on July 9 is a test match.

The Speedy Tigers will leave for Brussels, Belgium on June 28 and return home on July 16.

Following are the 20 players bound for the Tour Series:

Goalkeepers: Muhamad Zaimi Mat Deris, Che Shahrul Azmi Che Saufi.

Defenders: Muhammad Marhan Jalil (Captain), Faiz Helmi Jali, Muhamad Amirul Hamizan Azhar, Muhamad Syafiq Hassan, Muhamad Faris Harizan, Muhamad Kamarulzaman Kamarudin, Syarman Mat Tee.

Midfielders: Mohd Fitri Saari, Nik Muhamad Aiman Nik Rozemi, Shello Silverius, Alfarico Lance Liau Jr, Syawal Abdul Razak.

Forward: Faizal Saari, Muhamad Azrai Aizad Abu Kamal, Norsyafiq Sumantri, Azimuddin Syakir Kamaruddin, Tengku Nasrul Ikmal Hakimi Tengku Abd Rahim, Nur Rahull Hrsikesa Thaitchana Muruthi.