Thursday, 8 December 2011

Olympic squad to test new players during Australia friendlies

Malaysian Under-23 and Olympic squad coach Ong Kim Swee is expected to field a number of new faces during the playing tour to Australia.

Kim Swee said he would use the opportunity to assess the performance and capability of the new players before deciding whether to include them in the squad that would play in the S-League (Singapore) and the Olympic qualifier next year.

On Monday, Kim Swee had called up a number of new players to join the squad that would play three friendly matches against clubs in Australia, namely S Sivanesan from Felda United, Nazirul Naim Che Hashim and Mohd Ferris Danial Mat Nasir (Harimau Muda A) and Nur Areff Kamaruddin, Mohd Farhan Abu Bakar (Harimau Muda B).

The Under-23 squad is scheduled to play Sydney FC on Dec 13, Central South Mariner (Dec 15) and Newcastle United on Dec 19.

“We will evaluate the quality of the players and performance at the international stage and from there we will decide whether to maintain them in the squad or not,” he told reporters after attending a signing ceremony between the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and a local vaccine supplier, Sanofi Pasteur at Wisma FAM yesterday.

He added that the matches were part of the team’s preparations to play in the S-League and the return leg matches of the 2012 London Olympics Asian Zone Qualifiers against Syria, Bahrain and Japan in February.

The exit of three players, due to their age factor, had forced Kim Swee to look at the resources available at his disposal to fill the vacant left by three stalwarts who had helped Malaysia win the gold medal in the SEA Games by beating host Indonesia in Jakarta last month.

The three players who have since joined M-League team are Mohd Muslim Ahmad (Terengganu), K Gurusamy (Selangor) and Mohd Zamir Selamat (Johor FC).

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