The 2017 KL SEA Games will commence in less than ten days, which means national U-22 football coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee has very little time to finalise his squad.
Earlier this month, Datuk Ong Kim listed his choice of 27 players for the upcoming Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
All 27 players checked into Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya on the 6th of August for their final preparations before the SEA Games football tournament commence on August 14th.
The head coach will narrow down the list to the final 20 players to register for the SEA Games by the end of this week – and he admits that it is not an easy task.
“We have 20 spots for the SEA Games mission, and the competition is intense. It’s a very difficult decision for me to make, there are a lot of aspects to consider.” Datuk Ong Kim Swee told Metro.
The task to narrow down the list became more difficult as six more players joined in after previously held back by their clubs from serving national duty. The six players are Matt Davies, Nor Azam Azih (Pahang), S Kumaahran, Syamer Kutty Abba (Penang), Haziq Nadzli and Safawi Rasid (Johor Darul Ta’zim).
“I have to take into account the injuries, fitness levels, and how to fill up the positions. As of now, I’m not sure yet. I have three more sessions with the players, and then I’ll have a better idea.”
“I think this is the best squad I’ve had in a while. This squad is even better than the 22-men squad I had with me in Bangkok, playing the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers.” the head coach added.
Malaysia will be going up against Brunei in the Group A fixture at the Shah Alam Stadium next Monday, 14th of August at 8.45 pm.