* Indra wants to play a role to help Malaysia improve its football fortunes
* ‘I maybe 33 but I have at least four more years of competitive football’ – Indra
A check with national coach Dollah Salleh confirmed that Indra Putra Mahayuddin is not on his list of players to face Liverpool at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on July 24.
However, the Perak-born football nomad has not given up hope of donning national colours. For Indra “age is not a factor” and the fact that at 33 he is still hogging the limelight spoke volume of the veteran’s ability.
Last Wednesday, Indra made headlines as he plundered a hattrick in Felda United’s 4-0 demolition of Armed Forces in a Super League match at Stadium Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Paroi, Seremban.
“Yes, I am game to play competitive football at international level if Dollah calls me up for national duty. Fitness is not and never a problem as I am disciplined in my training and take care of my health,” said Indra Putra, who has plied his football trade with his homestate Perak, Pahang, Selangor, Kelantan (two stints), T-Team before joining Felda United.
“It is left to the national selectors. Presently Malaysian football is at a low and much has been said about a massive revamp. If given a chance I want to be part of this (revamp) as I believe I can still contribute.
“As I said age is not a factor. I can take on any of the youngsters and I fear no one. If you have the heart and soul in the game you can contribute to the team at any level but it is left to the coaches to decide.”
Indra played a major role for Malaysia in last year’s AFF Suzuki Cup championships where Malaysia finished runners-up to Thailand.
Felda coach Irfan Bakti hailed Indra as a trump card who is an asset to the plantation giants currently in fourth place in the 12-team Super League with 25 points.
“Frankly, I did not expect to score a hattrick, more so when I started on the bench. The goals were made possible by my teammates. Football is a team game and I just played my part.”
For the match against Liverpool, Dollah will have five foreign players currently playing for teams in the M-League.
Malaysia’s FIFA ranking has plunged to a low 168.
“But there will be many new names in the squad,” said Dollah.
Dollah came in for criticism after Malaysia could only manage a 1-1 draw against minnows Timor Leste followed by a 6-0 bashing at the hands of Palestine in the Asian Zone World Cup Group A qualifiers.
The other teams in the group are Arab powerhouse Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.