Heavy workload no problem for tireless defender Davies

Hard worker: Malaysia’s Matthew Davies jumps over Jordan’s Ahmad Ersan during their friendly match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Friday. Jordan won 1-0. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Rightback Matthew Davies is one of the most energetic players in the national team and Pahang – and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Davies says he gives his 100% on the pitch because he just loves the game.

The 24-year-old player has played 32 games for Pahang in all competitions and donned the Malaysian jersey six times this year.

In fact, Davies has made the most appearances this season out of the 24 national players selected for the second-round campaign in the World Cup 2022-Asia Cup 2023 qualifying tournament this month.

Malaysia play Indonesia on Sept 5 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta and the United Arab Emirates on Sept 10 in Bukit Jalil.

The former Perth Glory player admitted that the workload had been heavy but he was game for it.

“Some of the players are on a break (for the Malaysia Cup) but some of us have to continue training with the national team. It’s pretty tough, ” he said.

“But I’ve learn to manage it. I’ve been taking extra care of myself by doing the right things.

“Hopefully, it will carry me through till the end of the season.”

Davies started in Malaysia’s 0-1 defeat against Jordan at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Friday and played for 70 minutes.

Malaysia had the lion’s share of possession but were undone by an early goal from Jordanian captain Said Morjan in the sixth minute.

“We created more chances and made some pretty intricate passes too. We are pleased with our game despite the result, ” he said.

Davies’ position as a rightback is under threat now since the return of Selangor’s Syahmi Safari after missing two call-ups this year due to injuries.

Syahmi’s performance in last year’s AFF Suzuki Cup showed he has the potential to be the first- choice rightback, but Davies has also shown strength and consistency.

“Syahmi is good and gives me competition. But I’ve been with the national team for five years and played many matches, ” he said.

“I would like to keep that position, and I’m confident of my abilities.”

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