Cheng Hoe: League restart timely boost for national team

Tan Cheng Hoe.

KUALA LUMPUR: National football team head coach Tan Cheng Hoe has breathed a sigh of relief with the Malaysian Football League’s (MFL) decision to kick off the 2021 Malaysian League campaign on March 5.

In a statement issued by MFL on Thursday, the 52-year-old tactician said having some games under their belt would ensure players more match training before attending the national squad’s centralised camp which is expected to begin on March 22.

“If the league is postponed and the selected players join the training camp just like that (without playing matches), I will find it difficult to provide the players with tactical training, ” said Cheng Hoe.

“In fact, it can even invite serious injuries to the players, ” he said, adding that such a situation would be detrimental to both the country and the clubs the players were from.

He also welcomed MFL’s decision not to postpone the M-League as it would give him an opportunity to evaluate the players who he intended to call up for training.

The last time the national players gathered for centralised training was in November 2019.

The Harimau Malaya are still on a mission to qualify for the Asian Cup at the 2022 World Cup/ 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers which will be held in a carnival format in June.

The 2021 M-League which opens on March 5 will see 2020 Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim take on Kedah Darul Aman FC for the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Cup at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri. — Bernama.

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