Veteran striker Amri out to prove critics that age is not a factor

JOHOR BARU: Veteran footballer Mohd Amri Yahyah (pic) is ready to silence the critics following his call-up for the 2019 Asian Cup qualifying campaign against Lebanon at the Larkin Stadium on June 13.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) came under fire last week for naming nine players aged over 30 in the 26-man training squad under new coach Eduardo Vingada.

Amri, who is the oldest of the lot at 36, believes that age would not be a factor.

“For me, there is no issue with a player’s age. We have a good mix of experience and youngsters in the squad.

“What is important is to show the coach that we deserve to be in the team and give our all for Malaysia,” said Amri, who plays for Selangor in the Super League.

The seasoned striker has donned national colours for 13 years (since 2004) and his biggest achievement was winning the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup.

Last year, he was Malaysia’s top scorer with two goals in what proved to be a disastrous 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup campaign in Myanmar.

Amri is also one of the most decorated players in the country, having bagged 13 titles from his time with Selangor (2001-2013) and Johor Darul Ta’zim (2014-2016).

Portuguese coach Vingada has two other strikers – Ahmad Hazwan Bakri and Mohd Safee Sali – at his disposal for his first assignment.

Amri said that Vingada’s training sessions at the JDT’s Padang Seri Gelam training complex in Johor Baru have been well-received by the players.

“The sessions have been great for the coach and the players. We are all fired up to give our best for Vingada and I hope to make the starting XI,” said Amri.

Amri Yahyah , Selangor , JDT , Melaka United