PETALING JAYA: A national call-up has come at the right time for Penang rightback Quentin Cheng.
The 21-year-old was named as one of the 24 players for the October friendlies against Jordan and Uzbekistan by national coach Tan Cheng Hoe this week but first, a buoyed Quentin aims to help the Panthers get off to a roaring start in the Malaysia Cup.
Penang will kick off their Group A encounter against Sarawak United at the City Stadium in Georgetown today.
Quentin was just overjoyed to make the national team.
His selection did not come as a surprise as the player on loan from Selangor has been a regular under coach Thomas Trucha and has shone in the Super League with his great defensive work and smart attacking plays with the wingers.
The northern club finished third in the top division.
“I was so ecstatic when I was selected. Not only for myself but for my parents who were born and raised in Malaysia. It’s a tremendous achievement, and I’m happy to make them proud,” said the Australian-born Quentin.
“I joined Penang to get the experience and Super League minutes and I’m pleased with how the season has gone – to get five assists and play in 22 games were not easy, especially during this pandemic.
“I hope to continue the momentum in the Malaysia Cup. Our coach told us that anyone can win it.
“We can beat the bigger teams but we must stay focused and start strong.”
Quentin said they would be ready for Sarawak, who boast with imports like Taylor Regan, Lee Chang-hoon, Uche Agba and Sandro Mendonca.
“Sarawak have a talented squad, and I think they are the best team in the Premier League even though they did not win the title (finished second to Negri Sembilan),” he said.
“Penang, however, have shown throughout the league that we have the quality all over the field and can punish teams if they give us a chance.”When asked if Penang have what it takes to go all the way to win the Malaysia Cup, Quentin said: “We’ll do our best, but we are still the underdog team, so there is no pressure on us.”