National coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee has named his provisional 26-man squad ahead of the AFF Suzuki Cup, which kicks off on the 19th of November.
The likes of Amri Yahya, Shahrom Kalam and even Khairul Fahmi have all been included in the squad, but the surprise comes in the form of the exclusion of three key JDT players – Izham Tarmizi, Fazly Mazlan as well as Azrif Nasrulhaq.
Izham’s exclusion is probably the biggest surprise, considering the fact that he’s widely regarded as one of OKS’ favourite players, having supervised his growth in Harimau Muda over the past few years. Even the other two lads – Azrif and Fazly – are widely regarded as the finest players in their respective positions.
At the same time, OKS has included some unanticipated names in the list; Selangor’s S. Veenod and T-Team’s Safawi Rashid, who is only 19 years-old. Veteran striker Safee Sali has also been thrown into the mix despite struggling for form and joining him in the offensive department would be Darren Lok, who has had very little competitive action under his belt, this year.
Here’s the full squad list:
All players are required to report for national duty on the 25th of October, with the exception of eight players from Selangor and Kedah – all of whom are involved in the Malaysia Cup final. They are only required to check in on the 1st of November.
OKS’ troops will be heading to Port Dickson for a short training camp, before facing Papua New Guinea in their final preparatory friendly match on the 14th of November. The 45 year-old coach will then finalize his 23-man squad for the Suzuki Cup, before they depart for Yangon on the 16th of September.