KUCHING: They met many challenges preparing for Sukma. There wasn’t any exposure trip but the Sarawak women’s hockey team are still better prepared when compared to the last Sukma two years ago.
“We cannot have long training as some the players were sitting for their exams,” said coach Sri Sakrunathan @ Murti who was formerly in charge of the men’s team.
At least they have the weekend trainings before the centralised training.
Before the month-long centralised training, they also had two weeks of training at SMK Paku where most of the players are from.
They played friendly games against the men’s team or against the old boys team.
“At the last Sukma (held in Kuching), expectations were too high when at home so they probably crumbled under the pressure,” Sakrunathan recalled.
Five of those who had played in the last Sukma including Elizabeth Epui Martin, Josephine Angkun and striker Suhaili Sata are still in the team.
The coach feels the team is quite a balanced side with two players each from Sibu Jaya, SMK Bako, SMK Paku, SMK Bau and SMK Tebakang.
“All the teams are prepared this Sukma so we expect a very stiff competition,” he said.
“Of course, we want to do well so we try to qualify for the semi-finals and we will take game by game. During the training we need to play as a unit and we try to get the understanding among the players by getting them to click.
“Also, we are in a tough group and hopefully they can perform and rise to the occasion in this Sukma,” he added.
Sarawak are drawn in Group B with host Perak, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and Pahang with the top two teams advancing to the semi-finals.