KUCHING: Donning national colours is still vey much on the mind of Johor striker Mohamed Farid Ideris but inconsistency is his biggest enemy which forced him to pullout from the national pre-Olympic Under-22 squad on Thursday - hours after checking into camp at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya.
It is not that I have no desire to play for Malaysia, said Farid.
It is every footballer's dream to wear national colours. In fact, I felt very proud to have earned a national call-up.
However, I am not pleased with my current form. Inconsistency has been my biggest enemy. Based on this, I had a heart-to-heart talk with (national) coach Allan Harris and told him of my intention to pull out.
It is not that I am not interested in playing for the national team. I still remember I was dropped at the last minute by Allan when I was with the National Under-19 squad.
With my inconsistency I am not confident of making the final squad. It is better for me to withdraw and not deny others a chance to be in the team while I work on improving my game with the Johor team.
Farid, who hails from Parit Jawa, Muar, is Johor's top local striker with nine goals (before the FA Cup first-leg quarter-final match against Sarawak last night), including four goals in the Premier II league.
The Englishman brooks no nonsense from players who have no pride or desire to play for the national team.
Perak striker Mohd Khalid Jamlus was left out of the national team for the Asean Football Federation's Tiger Cup in held in Singapore and Jakarta last year when the player tried to dictate terms.
Harris, a former assistant to Englishman Terry Venables at Spanish giants Barcelona in the mid-80s, spoke to Johor coach Karl Heinz Weigang after he told Farid to go home.
Allan spoke to me and told me the reasons for telling Farid to go home. That's it. I don't see any fuss in that.
I had a lot of phone calls from reporters in KL who want to know if Farid is with the Johor team.
I don't know why they are so interested in Farid. I believe the player knows best and he has withdrawn from the national squad, said Weigang, who is in his second season with the Scorpions.
Johor lead the Premier II league with 22 points after nine matches.