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Thursday September 5, 2013 MYT 7:52:00 PM
Thursday September 5, 2013 MYT 7:54:45 PM
by k. rajan
Mohd Irfan Fazail … 'I am ready to fight for my place again.'
KUANTAN: Injury-prone Mohd Irfan Fazail wants to regain his starting place in the National Under-23 squad for the Merdeka Tournament, which kicks off in Kuantan on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Irfan said he would fight for his place and prove that that he is still the best man for the playmaker role.
“It is unfortunate that my career has been plagued by injuries but I am ready to fight for my place again,” said Irfan, who was instrumental in Malaysia’s success in winning the gold medal at the 2011 Jakarta SEA Games.
The Merdeka Tournament is part of the national Under-23 squad’s build-up to the Myanmar SEA Games in December.
Besides Malaysia, the other teams competing are Singapore, Thailand and Myanmar.
Malaysia will play Singapore in the opening match at the Darul Makmur Stadium on Saturday (5.30pm).
“We are not competing in the Merdeka Tournament to obtain results alone. It will also serve as a good avenue to compete with one another for places in the first team. It is good to be competitive because this will put every player on their toes and subsequently raise our game,” said Irfan, who hails from Pontian.
Coach Ong Kim Swee has yet to decide on his captain and Irfan and Negri Sembilan’s S. Sivanesan are the front-runners.
Both Sivanesan and Irfan skippered the team in each half in the team’s 5-0 win over UiTM FC in a friendly on Tuesday.
“It’s up to the coach to decide on the captain. Siva is a good player. It doesn’t matter who is the captain.
“Our focus is to help the team win the Merdeka Tournament,” said Irfan.
Malaysia vs Singapore
(Darul Makmur Stadium, 5.30pm)
Thailand vs Myanmar
(Darul Makmur Stadium, 8.45pm)
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football, Merdeka Tournament, Mohd Irfan Fazail
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