PETALING JAYA: National Under-23 coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee has included four new faces for the 2018 AFC Under-23 Champion-ship in Changshu, China from Jan 9-27.
Three national Under-19 players – defender A. Shivan Pillay, striker Hadi Fayyadh Abdul Razak and midfielder Nik Akif Syahiran Nik Mat have made the cut alongside former national Under-16 striker M. Kogileswaran Raj in the final 23-player squad.
Defender Raphi Azizan Mariappen and midfielders Ahmad Khairil Anuar Zamri and K. Thivandaran were dropped after three friendlies in Mokpo, South Korea from Dec 17-30.
Kim Swee’s men were held to a 1-1 draw by Mokpo City on Dec 20 before they edged Honam University 1-0 two days after. They wrapped up their stint with a 1-1 draw with Jeonju Citizen on Thursday.
The team will depart for Nanjing, China, today and will play in a final friendly against the Syria Under-23 team on Jan 5.
The 45-year-old coach said the three players were dropped due to injuries.
“They have not recovered fully and will return to Malaysia on Saturday (today),” said Kim Swee.
“However they have shown determination throughout the stint and will be on standby for the championship if any of the 23 players are injured before the tournament.”
The former international said the team have achieved their objectives in the second phase of centralised training in Mokpo.
“Overall we still need to make adjustments and improvements for the final tune-up against the Syrians.
“The match will also help me to gauge the players’ strengths and weaknesses,” said the Melaka-born coach.
THE 23-PLAYER SQUAD
Goalkeeper: Haziq Nadzli (JDT), Ifwat Akmal Chek Kassim (Ked), Ahmad Syihan Hazmi Mohamed (Nse).
Defender: Dominic Tan, Adam Nor Azlin (JDT), Syazwan Zaipol Bahari (Prk), A. Shivan Pillay (PKNS), Adib Zainudin (Felcra), Irfan Zakaria (KL).
Midfielder: Syamer Kutty Abba (JDT), Matthew Davies, Nor Azam Abdul Azih (Pah), Syazwan Andik Ishak (JDT II), Tommy Mawat Bada (PJ Rangers), Danial Amier Norhisham (Felda Utd), Nik Akif Syahiran Nik Mat (Kel), Syahmi Safari (Sel).
Strikers: Jafri Firdaus Chew (PKNS), N. Thanabalan (Nse), Akhyar Rashid (Ked), Hadi Fayyadh Abdul Razak (JDT II), M. Kogileswaran Raj (Pah), Safawi Rasid (JDT).
We're sorry, this article is unavailable at the moment. If you wish to read this article, kindly contact our Customer Service team at 1-300-88-7827. Thank you for your patience - we're bringing you a new and improved experience soon!