Cools Turns Down Bernhardt’s Approach
National U-22 head coach Frank Bernhardt has been turned down by Dion Cools to play in the 2017 SEA Games.
Bernhardt called 20-year old Cools to see if he can play for Malaysia for this year’s SEA Games. But the half-Malaysian defender seems to have turned down the offer.
“We were told about a player that plays in Belgium, I tried to contact him but it is hard to get the player to play for the U-23 and U-22 teams because he’s only thinking about the national team,” Bernhardt told Harian Metro.
Cools was born in Kuching, Sarawak to a Belgian father and a Malaysian mother and is able to represent Malaysia at an international level. He has played for the Belgium U-19 and U-22, but as long as he has not played for any country at a senior level, he still can choose between Belgium and Malaysia.
Bernhardt Hesitant On Another Half-Malaysian Player
Cools wasn’t the only one Bernhardt had in mind for the team. The U-22 head coach also considered a lesser-known half-Malaysian player, Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal for the team.
Wan Kuzain plays in the United States second division, the United Soccer League (USL) for Swope Park Rangers according to Harian Metro.
However, Bernhardt said it is difficult to call-up the player for various reasons.
“He (Wan Kuzain) has never before been with us. He could be a great player in the second division over there, but the question is whether if he can play at an international level. I have to test him first to see if he fits with the team,”
“I don’t have a lot of time, but if we can get the players within two-three months, maybe we can discuss. But right now, I don’t think I can (call-up Wan Kuzain),” said Bernhardt.
Who is Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal?
Wan Kuzain was born in Carbondale, Illinois and he is raised there ever since he was born.
Wan Kuzain entered the St. Louis Scott Gallgher Soccer Club at the academic level where he scored eight goals in 27 appearances in 2015-16 Development Academy season. He once trained with Dutch club Feyenoord FC’s academy.
Before he joined Swope in 2016, he joined the academy of St. Louis FC, another USL side and only made to the main roster once, three days after he signed for Swope, but he did not play that day.