THE national Under-21 hockey team defeated Islamic Union of Hong Kong 13-1 in a friendly match at the Hockey Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas yesterday.
The match served as the national team's preparation for next year's 16th Malaysian Games (SUKMA) in Kuching, Sarawak. The upcoming SUKMA is expected to be held from July 22- 31, with 24 sports to be contested during the biennial meet.
Speaking to The Brunei Times after the match, national assistant coach Fauzi Hj Awang was glad that the team finally got to compete against a team from overseas after months of training. "The players have worked very hard and have been training four times a week for the past few months, and I am very happy that we have finally got a chance to play a competitive friendly match," said Fauzi.
"The game was a very good opportunity for us to gauge our level, and from my observation during the match, despite the score line I can see that we are still lacking in many areas - especially in terms of accuracy in passing.
"We also need to work more on our fitness," he added.
Six players in the national under-21 squad were scouted from last year's Brunei Darussalam Hockey Association (BDHA) Inter-School tournament meanwhile the rest were selected from last year's National Under-21 tournament.
"Most of our players are still very young and there is still so much to learn," Fauzi said. "I hope they learned something from today's opponents as the team is made up of a lot of veteran players," continued Fauzi, adding that the team is looking for more friendly games.
"We are looking for more friendly games like this, in the future and at same time we are going to continue with our usual training regime," he added. Fauzi also added that BDHA and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) are set to organise Brunei Darussalam 2015 Hockey Festival six-a-side competition from November 27-29.
The tournament will be divided into two categories: the 6-a-side mixed open and the 6-a-side inter-school category.