Exclusive: One on One with Malaysian hockey skipper Azlan Misron

Azlan Misron is no stranger to the world of Malaysian hockey. The Perak-born player, who made his international debut in 2002, is about to break the Malaysian record of being the most capped player in the national squad. As of the Incheon Asian Games last year, the Malaysian skipper has represented the country on 346 occassions and he will be the first player to secure 350 caps at the ongoing World Hockey League. He was also the captain of KLHC from 2006 to 2012 and in 2013, he joined the Terengganu Hockey team. caught up with him for a quick chat!

Photo Credit: Astro
Photo Credit: Astro

FO: What inspired you to play hockey?

AM: Well I personally feel that interest is very important. I got into hockey because of my interest. I did not just join this for the sake of it. I started out in primary school, joined clubs etc. I started to learn more about the sports and I had a lot of inspiring teachers who really taught me a lot. I would never have imagined myself being where I am now, as a national player. I’m really grateful for this journey.

FO: Who is your role model?

AM: I remember watching the Olympic match between Malaysia and Germany in 2002, and since then, I have been looking up to the German team. I don’t look at a specific individual as a role model but I look at the team as a whole. Germany really caught my eye as they produced a superb performance and their teamwork was amazing. When you look at them play, you’ll just be like “wow”.

Piala TNB dan Piala Presiden
Photo Credit: Kosmo

FO: What are your thoughts on the Hockey development in Malaysia?

AM: In comparison to other countries, we’re still behind but we are still improving. We are still new but our development is not as good as it should be. I feel like we should introduce he sport to younger generations and gauge their interest. Inspire them to play at a whole new level and to be honest, it is our duty to do so, as we can be their role model. Also in terms of development, coaches that are appointed need to be better and more experienced.

FO: Do you think foreign coaches benefit the team, or are local coaches capable enough?

AM: Well for me, it doesn’t matter if it’s a local or foreign coach. As a player, I would look up to a coach’s knowledge in hockey for the squad to strive. We had a South African coach, Paul Revington, back in 2012. I really looked up to him as he was a very good coach and he was perfect in terms of his set plays, coaching style and everything.

FO: You are about to be the first national player to secure more than 350 international caps. What does it feel like for you?

AM: Well, I really am honoured to be the first player to achieve that but then again, that is not the most important thing for me as of now. What I really want is to continue contributing for Malaysia. I want to keep going, work hard and do it for as long as I can.

Photo Credit: Zimbio

FO: How many more years do you think you’ll be involved in the sport?

AM: Well I can’t predict the time but as long as I’m active in trainings and able catch up with the tempo of the game as well as the junior players, I can still go a long way.

FO: What is your expectations for the World League?

AM: On paper, we are one of the top ranked teams. It should be easier for us, we are even massive favourites but we are not going to take it lightly and we want to do our best. We just finished the national league, so we did not get to practice as much; people say our preparations are not comprehensive, but I think we can still do it. We need to build our team’s chemistry; we have to just try our best and fight.

FO: Do you have any specific advice for younger players in the team?

They have to work extra hard. If they can’t keep up with us, the senior players, it’s problematic. We are getting older, they will take over anytime soon, so they have to work extra hard to be able to keep up with the team.

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