National Under-23 coach (Harimau Muda A) Datuk Ong Kim Swee has called up 11 new faces to beef up the squad that will be participating in the National Premier League (NPL) in Queensland, Australia from March to August, 2014.
Kim Swee said six of them were from the Harimau Muda B squad (National Under-21) and five from the Harimau Muda C (Under-19) squad.
Apart from the 11 players, Kim Swee would also be scouting for a number of players who would be playing in the President’s Cup competition which starts next week.
“Not all will make the final squad but I want to give them ample time to adapt to the National team’s style of the play,” he told Bernama yesterday.
Kim Swee said the squad would take a two-day break for the Chinese New Year celebrations (Friday and Saturday) and resume training on Sunday.
“We do not have much time to prepare as the team will be leaving to Brisbane soon,” he said.
The Harimau Muda A squad lost a number of first choice players due to their age factor, including skipper Mohd Irfan Fazail, defender Mohd Fadhli Mohd Shas, goalkeeper Mohd Izham Tarmizi Roslan and striker Izzaq Faris Ramlan.
Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin had said that the team’s participation in the NPL was part of preparations to equip the squad for the challenges during the 2014 Asian Games.