Shakir vows to impress after getting surprise Harimau Malaya call-up


Count on me: Terengganu’s Engku Nur Shakir Engku Yacob (right) will give his best to be in the final squad for the World Cup 2026-Asian Cup 2027 qualifiers against Kyrgyzstan and Taiwan.

PETALING JAYA: Terengganu player Engku Nur Shakir Engku Yacob did not expect to get a national call-up ahead of the World Cup 2026-Asian Cup 2027 qualifiers against Kyrgyzstan and Taiwan next month.

But now that he is in, the 25-year-old wants to use the opportunity to impress national coach Kim Pan-gon to include him in the final list of players.

Shakir started playing professional football in 2020 and he is among 26 players who have been called up for centralised training camp starting early this week.

“I am surprised because this is my first call-up to the national training camp. We know there are many good players but I was selected, so I’m grateful,” said Shakir.

“Many friends in the team have given me good advice, encouragement and also told me not to be shy to learn.

“They also told me to give my 100%. I want to be in the final national squad and I will give my best to live up to coach Kim’s expectations, I will give 100%.

“I came here not just for training but my intention is to accompany the national team to Kyrgyzstan next month.

“My favourite position is the attack but if the coach wants to put me in any position, I will be ready too,” he said.

Harimau Malaya need to win the two remaining matches against Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek on June 6 and Taiwan in Bukit Jalil on June 11 to have a chance to progress to the third round of the World Cup 2026 qualifiers for the first time and also earn early qualification to the Asian Cup 2027.

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