Aussie hopes to beef up national team’s attack before embarking on playing tour

“Get it quickly inside the circle and finish!”

That seems to be the mantra of renowned forward Michael McCann who has been with the Malaysian Tigers since Monday in his role as a ‘striking consultant’.

The 41-year-old Australian enjoyed an illustrious career with the Kookaburras from 2001 to 2007, scoring 72 goals in 165 appearances.

Now, after having arrived on Sunday from Mannheim, Germany where is based and being involved with the Bundesliga Hockey, McCann is the perfect man to turn around the fortunes of the Malaysian Tigers before they face their most important assignment of their lives – the Olympic Qualifiers in November.

“Get more balls inside the circle, quicker than the defenders as that will lead to more goals,” said McCann at the Tiger’s training session yesterday.

McCann is here on a one week stint but realises that seven days are not enough for him to impart all his technical knowledge to his charges.

“It’s not what we are lacking but what we can do better at the moment, technical issues that we can continue to work on.”

“One week is not enough time for me to impart all my knowledge, it would have been better if it was two weeks but the most important thing is that they fully understand my message,” added McCann.

While McCann focuses on attack, coach Roelant Oltmans is focusing on defence and he’s glad all the players are enjoying their training sessions.

“I am very satisfied with the training the players are undergoing and they are really enjoying it. What’s nicer than working on scoring, it’s the moment the players live for,” said a beaming Oltmans.

“It’s certainly much nicer than working on the defence, I am getting a good response from the players,” he added.

With the much-needed input from McCann, the players should be sharp and ready for their playing tour of Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and South Korea next month.

Oltmans will name his 20 man squad next week. Also, the return of goalkeeper S. Kumar is much anticipated. He was sidelined for the last two assignments – the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (March) and FIH Series Finals (May) – due to a muscle tear in his right thigh.

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