Maloney set to continue as U-23 coach after meeting KPI

PETALING JAYA: Australian coach Brad Maloney is set to be given an extension after he led Malaysia to qualify for the AFC Under-23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan in June.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general Mohd Saifuddin Abu Bakar said Maloney had fulfilled the key performance indicator (KPI) set by the management and they would hold a meeting with him this week.

“The team have returned from Mongolia and completed their quarantine. We will discuss his extension and also plans for the team to prepare for the U-23 Asian Cup,” said Saifuddin after the third FAM executive committee meeting at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya yesterday.

“We’re pleased that Brad has met the KPI set by FAM, we will discuss with him to make sure we have an amicable agreement.”

Next year will be a busy year for the Malaysian U-23 team as they will also compete in the SEA Games in Vietnam in May and the Asian Games in China in September.

The FAM will also form a team for the AFC Asian Under-17 qualifying round in October next year.

The team management led by executive committee member Christopher Raj will identify the coaches to prepare for the competition.

Saifuddin said the core of the team will be players born in or after 2006.

“The final round of the AFC Asian Under-17 championship in Bahrain in 2023 will be the ticket to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Under-17 in Peru in 2023,” he said.

“Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be the potential training destinations in April as preparation for the qualifying rounds.”

Meanwhile, the FAM have submitted the application to the Youth and Sports Ministry through the Sports Commissioner to bid for the hosting rights of the third round of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers in June 2022.

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