Harris to release players for M-League ties


PETALING JAYA: National football coach Allan Harris has returned from holidays in London in a generous mood. 

The Englishman said that he would be flexible with players in national training to make them available for the domestic competitions. 

The first phase of training for the pre-Asian Cup, which begins in October, began yesterday and all the 25 players called up reported to Harris at the Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya here. The team are scheduled to go on a four-match playing tour of the Czech Republic from June 24-July 4. 

“I will put things in order once the qualifying tournament gets closer. It is all right for now,” said Harris. 

“It is still early stages of our preparations for the tournament and we understand the predicament of the state and club sides, who need their best players for matches. But we will draw the line when the time comes.” 

The Premier I and II competitions have entered the crucial stages with teams battling for places to qualify for the eight-team Super League next year. 

The national team will feature in the inaugural FA Premier League (FAPL) Asia Cup tournament, which will be played at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil from July 24-27. The other teams in the fray are English Premiership's Chelsea, Newcastle and Birmingham. 

Two months ago, Harris came under fire from several State FAs and club sides for his decision not to release national Under-22 players in the final phase of training for the pre-Olympics for domestic matches. 

Malaysia are through to the Asian final rounds of the pre-Olympics, which will be played in March next year. They defeated Turkmenistan by default.  

Turkmenistan refused to travel to Kuala Lumpur for the first-leg second round match because of concerns over SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). 

On the team preparing for the pre-Asian Cup, Harris said: “I have a mix of youth and senior players. I will have to come up with the best combination during the playing tour of the Czech Republic.” 

Malaysia will make a bid to host the first leg of the pre-Asia Cup Group F tournament. Their opponents are Bahrain, Iraq and Myanmar. 




Goalkeepers: Azmin Azram Abdul Aziz (Sel), Syamsuri Mustaffa (Ter), Mohamed Sany Fahmi (Joh FC). 

Defenders: Subri Sulong, Rosdi Talib (Pah), Redzuan Radzi, Yosri Derma Raju, Norhafiz Zamani Misbah (Nse), Nizam Jamil (Sel), Khaironissam Sahabuddin (Per), A. Victor, Irwan Fadli Idrus (Ked), Aziz Ismail (Pen). 

Midfielders: Mohamed Fadzli Shaari, Juzaili Samion (Pah), K. Rajan, Mohamed Shukor Adan (Nse), Eddie Helmi Abdul Manan (Joh FC), Indra Putra Mahayuddin, K. Nanthakumar (Prk), Tengku Hassan Raja Hassan (Per). 

Forwards: Zainizam Marjan (Sab), Akmal Rizal Rakhli (Ked), Mohamed Nizaruddin Yusof (Sel), Hairuddin Omar (Pah). 

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