National women's hockey head coach, Muhammad Dharma Raj Abdullah believes the five-match series against China's National Junior Team in Changzhou had placed his side on the right track to challenge world powers in hockey.
Muhammad Dharma said the tour provided the squad an opportunity to gauge the team's ability to adapt to a new concept of play.
"Many inadequacies were uncovered, providing greater insight to what is required for the team to improve. We included an offensive approach, resulting in creating effective circle penetrations and penalty corners in every match.
"The players are now beginning to believe in this concept. They also understand the need to pile the hours away if we are to match up to the best teams in the world," he said in statement Sunday.
In the last match played today, the Malaysian side lost 0-2 to the young Chinese side, who netted from a penalty corner in the 31st minute and a penalty stroke in the 50th minute.
Malaysia, the 2015 Singapore SEA Games champion, had lost 0-4 in the first match played on Tuesday and managed to reduce the deficit to 1-2 in the second match played on Wednesday.
However, in the third match on Friday, Muhammad Dharma's side again lost 1-2 before holding out for a 2-2 yesterday, thanks to goals from Siti Shahida Saad and Siti Noor Amarina Ruhani.
Besides, Muhammad Dharma was also pleased with the performance of several players who will likely be key players for the future.
"Youngsters like Hanis Nadiah Onn and Wan Norfaezah Md Saiuti were fantastic here. They have the talent and tenacity required to carve a name for themselves internationally. This provides much promise for the future," he said.