KUALA LUMPUR: After being included for the first time in the national hockey team, Adrian Andy Albert is determined to give his best performance in the European Tour which begins on July 21.

The young goalkeeper from Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), who admitted being nervous when called to don the national team jersey, said he did not want the feelings to affect his focus and performance.

 The 22-year-old Sabah-born goalkeeper said he would take full advantage of the opportunity given by head coach Roelant Oltmans, and hoped that he would learn something new from experienced goalkeeper S. Kumar during the tour.

“I’m very surprised because there are two other top goalkeepers, and I’m the head coach choice. However, there is still much to learn from Kumar,” he told reporters before a training session at the Bukit Jalil National Hockey Stadium here on Thursday.

During the announcement of the list of players on Thursday,  Adrian was selected to join the national squad to replace reserve goalkeeper Hairi Abdul Rahman who suffered knee injuries. Meanwhile, Oltmans said Adrian was selected for the tour as he was talented and second best goalkeeper after Kumar.

“Kumar has completely recovered from his injury and back in training. It is important to know who is the best number two goalkeeper if Kumar can’t play due to injury in the upcoming period.

“Besides Adrian, (striker) Muhammad Noor Firdaus Rosdi is a very talented young player…and of course few more young players. The best thing is to improve and develop yourself to play with the best team in the world,” he said.

Oltmans also admitted that the Malaysian Tigers were lucky to get a chance to play against top team during the tour.

“It’s such a fantastic opportunity to play with the best team in the world and we have to show that we are competitive enough to play against them,” he said. – Bernama