Maloney not perturbed by postponement of AFC U-19 meet

PETALING JAYA: Coach Brad Maloney is taking the postponement of the AFC Under-19 championship in his stride.

The competition was scheduled for Oct 14-31 in Uzbekistan but the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have decided to postpone the competition to early next year due to the spike in Covid-19 cases in the region.

The players have been in training camp since July 6, and Maloney will change his training plans accordingly once the new dates are confirmed.

This month’s phase three of the camp is now cancelled and the players will be released to join their teams in the M-League.

“We will finalise our plans once the new dates are confirmed. We would need at least a six-week stint to prepare for the tournament.

“We have a clear idea on what to do during this period, we just need the new dates.”

Malaysia are drawn with Qatar, Tajikistan and Yemen in Group D. Malaysia emerged as one of the top 16 qualifiers for the Asian meet after winning their qualifying campaign last year.

The 48-year-old coach said he is still on the hunt for new talent to beef up the squad.

“We’ve been keeping track of some players from Selangor II, Perak II, Terengganu and Johor Darul Ta’zim. They have done well against senior players, ” said the former Australian international.

“And this gives me a selection headache... albeit a pleasant one. We already have a good team who won the qualifying campaign but if we can find better players it will definitely strengthen the squad. It’s always good to have more options.”

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