PETALING JAYA: D. Kenny Pallraj (pic) is ready to seize the opportunity to play for the national team.
Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe has indicated that he may line up the Perak midfielder when they face Timor Leste in the first qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup in a two-leg fixture on June 7 and 11 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Known for his all-action display in the middle of the park, Kenny is seen as the right man to play alongside rightback Matthew Davies.
The 26-year-old Kenny, who also played as the leftback against Kitchee in the qualifying rounds of the AFC Champions League, said he was prepared to play in any position.
“It does not matter what position I play but it’s just an honour to play for the national team,” said Kenny.
“I’ve played in different positions for Perak before, so it wouldn’t be awkward to do it for Malaysia.”
Kenny’s inclusion in the national team was a surprise to many as he has not started many games for Perak in the Super League. He has only played seven matches in the Super League and one in the FA Cup.
However, Cheng Hoe selected the player due to his work rate, versatility and chemistry with the squad.
“He knows what I’m capable of. It’s great to have his trust. A player will do whatever it takes to repay the faith of his coach,” said Kenny.
Kenny has given the thumbs up to the combination of youngsters and established stars in the national squad.
“It’s a balanced squad. I’ve worked with some of the players during the AFF Suzuki Cup, and they are pretty committed,” said Kenny.
He said the inclusion of young players such as Akhyar Rashid, Safawi Rasid, Syamer Kutty Abba, Dominic Tan, Adam Nor Azlin, Faisal Halim, Ifwat Akmal Chek Kassim, Irfan Zakaria, Syafiq Ahmad, Syazwan Andik Ishak dan Rodney Akwensivie would benefit the squad in the future.
“The young players are spirited and have assimilated seamlessly into the team. Everyone has been impressive, but Mickey (Faisal) is someone to watch out for in the future,” he said.
“He is always active and his movements are sharp. He goes up and down and his
pace is frightening. He will be an asset to the team.”