Sarawak skipper Joseph Kallang Tie is not in the list because he is getting married and requested to be left out but national football coach Dollah Salleh has kept faith in Felda United veterans Shukor Adan and Indra Putra Mahayuddi and named them in his list of 25 for the friendly match against the Philippines at the Shah Alam Stadium on Oct 11.
Also in the list of 25 is Australian-born Malaysian Brendan Gan who impressed Dollah while playing for Malaysia in the Asian Games in Incheon where Malaysia failed to go beyond the first round matches. Dollah flew to Incheon to have a look at Brendan and several other players in the Asiad and was impressed by Brendan who plays for Kelantan in the M-League..
Malaysia were supposed to have played against middle east football powerhouse Jordan. – ranked fifth in Asia. However, Jordan called off the friendly which left Dollah irked. As part of their preparations for the AFF Suzuki Cup which will be co-hosted by Singapore and Vietnam from Nov 22 – Dec 20, Malaysia have also lined up friendly matches against another Middle East nation Syria and Vietnam next month.
So far Malaysia have played three friendly matches – losing two and winning one. Malaysia lost 4-1 to Tajikistan and Indonesia (2-0) away and beat Cambodia 4-1 at home.
Dollah is still searching for players who will carry Malaysia’s challenge in the Asean championships although he has “more or less identified” those who will be in his team.
In the Suzuki Cup, Malaysia are drawn in a tough Group B which is made up of defending champions Singapore, who have won the title four times and three time champions Thailand. The winner of next month’s Qualifying Round in Vientiane, Laos will also be placed in this group.
Those in the qualifying round vying for a top two place to play in the tournament proper are Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Timor Leste and Myanmar with the runners-up playing in Group A which is made up of 2008 champions Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.
“Joseph (Kallang Tie) is getting married and asked to be left. I have picked the 25 from the squad of 35. Those not in the friendly against the Philippines are very much in my plans before I name my final squad of 22 for the Suzuki Cup,” said Dollah.
THOSE CALLED UP FOR FRIENDLY AGAINST THE PHILIPPINES
Khairul Fahmi Che Mat
Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak
Norshahrul Idlan Talaha
(Johor Darul Takzim)
Abdul Manaf Mamat
Indra Putra Mahayuddin