PETALING JAYA: One position that will be hotly contested in the national training camp for the World Cup 2022 and Asia Cup 2023 qualifiers is the rightback spot.
National coach Tan Cheng Hoe had selected three rightbacks – Matthew Davies (Johor Darul Ta’zim), Rizal Ghazali (Kedah) and Syahmi Safari (Selangor) – for his 28-men squad currently training in Johor Baru.
Before Covid-19 struck and forced the postponement of the qualifiers, Matthew was the first choice but Syahmi believes he warrants a shot at playing in the slot too.
Syahmi admits that there will be a fierce fight for the rightback position which to him is healthy and good for the team.
“For me, the competition is healthy, and every one of us will have to give our best. We are now into our fifth day of training and all the trainees have adapted, ” said Syahmi.
“We do not have much time to prepare for the qualifiers so every moment spent here must be 100 per cent. We are working on our communication to ensure that our chemistry is right before heading to the United Arab Emirates in June.
Cheng Hoe has played Syahmi on the leftback position to check his versatility.
He has, after all, played as a winger, leftback and wingback for his current club Selangor.
“I’m committed to the team and I will give my best to whatever position I have to play in.”
The team are getting ready for the World Cup-Asian Cup qualifiers, which will be played in the United Arab Emirates on June 3.
Malaysia will play Vietnam (June 11) and Thailand four days later.
Malaysia are second in Group G with nine points from three wins after five games. Vietnam lead the group with 11 points. Thailand are third with eight points while UAE are fourth with six and Indonesia are last with no points.