Double delight as Saravanan gets national call-up and fresh start with Pahang

PETALING JAYA: Fortunes have changed for the better for T. Saravanan (pic).

The nippy winger has been called up for national duty for the very first time and the former Kuala Lumpur player has made a big move to Pahang for this year’s Super League season.

And the 23-year-old wants to justify his selection and switch to a new team.

“It will be my first time with the national team. It was indeed a surprise because I have always been on the standby list but this time, I will be with the senior team,” said Saravanan.

He is one of the 33 players selected by coach Kim Pan-gon to join the Harimau Malaya centralised training camp beginning March 8 to prepare for their third and fourth Group D matches of the World Cup 2026-Asian Cup 2027 round two qualifiers.

They will play against Oman in Muscat on March 21 and in Bukit Jalil on March 26.

“I am sure it will be an experience to savour because I will be learning a new game module under coach Kim and also training with some of the experienced players in Harimau Malaya.”

He is also ready to start afresh with Pahang after struggling with unpaid wages when he was with Kuala Lumpur.

“I would have stayed with Kuala Lumpur if the arrears were paid. I stayed patient but when there were no updates, I knew that I had to move as I have to look after my life and my family,” he said.

“I’m glad Pahang gave me an offer that I could not refuse. Plus, learning from an experienced coach like Fandi Ahmad will elevate my game.

“I’m happy to have signed on the dotted line with them.”

Saravanan is one of the most prized wingers in the Super League thanks to his performances with Kuala Lumpur and also with the national Under-23 team.

But he knows that he is not guaranteed a first-team opportunity as there were other wing wizards like Sean Selvaraj, Manuel Hidalgo and Baqiuddin Shamsuddin.

“I am competing with several wingers like Sean, Hidalgo, Baqiuddin and several young players in the Pahang Under-23 squad. I am not guaranteed a spot.

“I must train, do my best and see what the coach decides. I know if I give my fullest commitment to the team, the opportunity will come.”

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