Home > Sport > Football
Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 6:29:00 PM
Wednesday September 18, 2013 MYT 12:26:22 AM
by r. patrick
Winger Wan Zaharulnizam Zakaria has recovered from his knee injury and will travel to Bandung with the Harimau Muda A squad.
PETALING JAYA: National Under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee will use the invitational Menpora Cup tournament in Bandung as the last selection trial for the Harimau Muda A squad before finalising the team for the Myanmar SEA Games.
The week-long invitational tournament will be held from Friday and Malaysia are in Group A with hosts Persib Bandung (match on Friday), Australian League champions Central Coast Mariners (Sept 22) and Sriwijaya FC (Sept 24).
Group B comprises Indonesian club sides Mitra Kukar, Persepam Maduram, Arema Malang as well as Filipino club Loyola Meralco Sparks.
“Most of the Harimau Muda A boys did not get to see much action in the recently-concluded Merdeka Tournament in Kuantan.
“So this tournament will give them more playing time and allow me to gauge their performance,” said Kim Swee.
The team will leave for Bandung on Wednesday.
Kim Swee said that although they have not set any targets, he expects the boys to take the tournament seriously and prove to him why they deserve a spot in the SEA Games squad.
“I have a big pool of 30-33 players available for the SEA Games. I have to crack my head and name the final 20. My biggest worry now is fatigue and injuries.”
Among the injured players are Izzaq Faris Ramlan, Ahmad Hazwan Bakri (strikers); Gary Steven Robbat, Fandi Othman (midfielders); and Amer Saidin (defender).
One piece of good news is that winger Wan Zaharulnizam Zakaria has recovered from his knee injury and will travel to Bandung.
The other notable player included in the squad is Kenny Pallraj, who was dropped from the Merdeka Tournament.
Football Association of Malaysian (FAM) secretary general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said that the SEA Games squad will either travel to Okinawa, Japan, or the Middle East for a series of friendlies in November.
“We will make sure that the SEA Games squad are well prepared to retain the gold medal,” he said at the opening of FIFA’s first Regional Fitness Course here on Tuesday.
FIFA chose to host the pilot course in Malaysia, with participants from all around the Asian nations, to raise the standard of the game in South-East Asia.
“Only three Asian countries have consistently qualified for the World Cup competition, namely Australia, South Korea and Japan.
“We really need to have more teams qualifying and this might be the first step towards it,” said FAM vice-president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal, who officiated at the event.
The week-long course is structured to impart European training techniques to local coaches.
Tags / Keywords:
football, Harimau Muda A, Ong Kim Swee, Menpora Cup, SEA Games, Under-23
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)