PETALING JAYA: National football coach Allan Harris will have a depleted Under-22 side to play against the Maldives national team in a friendly match at the MPPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya tonight (kick off 8.45 with tickets at RM5).
Harris said that two players were nursing injuries and some of the others were with the national Under-21 squad preparing for a youth international tournament, which will be played here next week.
Among the players from the Under-21 side who will not be available for the match against Maldives are Mohamed Fadli Shaari, Rudie Ramli, Tengku Elias Tengku Ibrahim, Mohamed Firdaus Mokhtar and Mohamed Norhisham Hassan.
Harris has 10 newcomers in his Under-22 squad, among them are Zairo Anuar and Mohamed Saufi Ibrahim, who are both down with injuries since training began at the Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya here on Monday.
The other new players include Zulbadly Ismail, K. Thayalan, Suazman Ariffin, Zulkifli Affendy Zakri, Azwan Malik, Mohamed Farid Ideris, S. Gopinath and Mohamed Anis Faron Arsidi.
Also in the team are the “12-core players” who Harris has groomed since he took charge of the national Under-19 squad in 1998. These players will form the backbone of the teams for the Under-23 pre-Olympics (May 3-Oct 18) and senior Asian Cup (Aug 19-Feb 18 next year).
Among his core players are Akmal Rizal Rakhli, Juzaili Samion, Irwan Fadli Idrus, Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Norhafiz Zamani Misbah, Syamsuri Mustafa, Saiful Sabtu, Redzuan Radzy, K. Rajan, Aziz Ismail and Marzuki Yusof.