Can Malaysia Netball score a historic Four Nations hat-trick?

February 20, 2019

Photo credit: Stadium Astro 

 

Malaysia

INF World Ranking: 27th  

 

Widely regarded as an Asian netball heavyweight, Malaysia go into the Four Nations weekend with the enviable status as the highest-ranked team. 

 

History bodes well for the visitors, as they boast an imperious record of clinching gold twice out of three Four Nations appearances, drawing them level with Hong Kong. 

 

Nor have their achievements been confined to the region; last year saw An Najwa Azizan seal a historic move to Australia's GWS Fury Netball Club - making her the first Malaysian netballer to play for an overseas team.  

 

 

Despite their successes, their last outing in September saw their World Cup hopes scuppered by a 51-43 loss to rivals Singapore.

 

All teams will nonetheless be on high alert, as the 2-time SEA Games Champions will be eyeing up a winning return to international action. 

 

This task of leading Malaysia to victory falls to captain Nur Syafazliyana Mohd Ali, who hopes for a strong performance to boost their world rankings. 

 

 Photo credit: Travel and Sport 

 

"We are actually looking forward to this tournament because it is a great opportunity for us, especially as we don't have many international games in Asia," said Syafazliyana. 

 

"In addition, it provides us with plenty of exposure for the upcoming SEA Games in Manila and it will be a whole new experience playing against Gibraltar, whom we have never played before." 

 

"While our combinations are our strength, the weather will be the most significant weakness as we rarely play in cold weather." she added. 

 

Aside from this, the wider opportunities presented by the Four Nations is something the 25-year-old views with importance. 

 

"It would be an honour to bring the cup home, where our nation has begun to place more emphasis on the sport and also to move our international ranking to a higher spot." 

 

 

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