Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Olympic squad coach delighted over good form of strikers

Malaysian Olympic coach Ong Kim Swee reckons he will have too many strikers to choose from for next year’s assignments.

And the former international says that is just how he wants it.

In fact, the newcomers have  put the pressure on the regulars after the successes over the past year.

There are several on form strikers in contention and Kim Swee admits it will be hard selecting the best for tournaments.

The Malacca-born said: “I’ve got a lot of players. It will be tough for me to choose the best but it is better to have this problem than no players,” he said.

Among his options are Ahmad Hazwan Bakri, Ahmad Fakri Saraani, A. Thamil Arasu, Syahrul Azwari and the injured Izzaq Faris Ramlan.

Ahmad Hazwan and Ahmad Fakri made headlines in the team’s recent tour in Australia, where both were impressive against top A-League sides.

An injury-prone Ahmad Hazwan, who missed last month’s Indonesia Sea Games, scored four goals for Kim Swee’s side from three friendly matches in Australia.

As for Ahmad Fakri, the 22-year-old made an impact in the team’s 4-1 win over A-League side Central Coast Mariners.

“They can improve because they are young and can get more experience by playing more important games.

“We have a good team and I believe we will have a good season ahead. But experience is really important on the pitch. You need experience. There is a good spirit with the young players and we’ve had good victories.

“We have something new and it is very interesting,” said Kim Swee, who helped the national Under-23 team retained their Sea Games title in Jakarta last month.

On the form of his strikers, Kim Swee said Ahmad Hazwan was the most impressive in Australia.

“He has the qualities to become a good striker as well as Ahmad Fakri and Thamil Arasu. However, they need to play regular high quality football to improve,” he added.

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