The governing body of Malaysia’s top leagues (MFL) is considering a change schedule of the domestic tournament matches to help the players join the U.23 team to prepare for the 31st SEA Games next month.
According to the local press, MFL wants to change the schedule of the Malaysian national championship because the clubs have not yet allowed their players to join the U.23 national team. This led to the Malaysian U.23 team, under the guidance of coach Brad Maloney, to have 5 players focus on training from April 19.
The new Malaysia U.23 team has 5 players gathered from April 19 to prepare for the 31st SEA Games
“There were indeed discussions between the MFL and the FAM (Federation Soccer Malaysia) on the match schedule to create favorable conditions for the summoning of U.23 players to the SEA Games. However, this requires the cooperation of not only the MFL and FAM but also the clubs involved,” said MFL CEO Stuart Ramalingam.
Previously, coach Brad Maloney made a list of 31 players Malaysia U.23 team focus on preparing to compete in the 31st SEA Games men’s football in Vietnam. In which, Selangor Club has the most players summoned, followed by Terengganu, JDT, Kuala Lumpur City FC, Kedah Darul Aman, FAM-MSN Project Squad, Negeri Sembilan. In addition, two players who are playing abroad, striker Hadi Fayyadh (who plays for Azul Claro club of Japan) and talented attacker Luqman Hakim (KV Kortrijk club in the top Belgian league) are expected to join forces. on April 25 and 29, respectively.
Coach Maloney (wearing a hat) has difficulty when the clubs have not released players
Self Coach Maloney also admitted that the preparation plan for the Malaysian U.23 team is facing difficulties because it is difficult for the players to concentrate before May 1 if the clubs refuse to release. Therefore, the Australian military leader can only hope that FAM’s negotiations with domestic clubs will go smoothly so that the players will soon reunite.
According to the preparation plan for 31st SEA Games men’s football, the Malaysia U.23 team will have 3 warm-up matches against U.23 Timor Leste (April 23 and 29) and U.23 Philippines (1.5), then finalize 20 official players to Hanoi. At this tournament, U.23 Malaysia team is in the same group B with Thailand U.23, Cambodia U.23, U.23 Singapore and U.23 Laos. They will in turn face Thailand U.23 (7.5), Laos U.23 (11.5), Cambodia U.23 (14.5) and Philippines U.23 (16.4).