Ong Kim Swee’s Perfect XI

The Harimau Muda head coach reveals his dream team of opponents from his playing days with Melaka, Sabah and Sarawak.

Goalkeeper: Khairul Azman Mohamed

During his playing time with Pahang, Khairul Azman was one of the best goalkeepers around. He was tall, confident under the high ball and also organised his defence very well, so whoever was playing in the back four would feel assured.

Right-back: Razip Ismail

Not only was Razip good with his defending but he was also very dangerous with his crossing ability.

Centre-back: Alan Edward Davidson

He was strong and good in the air, so you could not go past him easily. I did not like to play against him because he was a very tough and good player, but I was not afraid to take him on despite being smaller than him. Either of us would always get a yellow card every time we met on the field.

Centre-back: Lee Kin Hong

He was a tall centre-back playing for Kedah during my time. It was not easy to play against him because he was very fast and adept at intercepting.

Left-back: See Kim Seng

Kim Seng was tough like Davidson. He was also capable of dangerous overlapping runs.

Right midfielder: K. Ravichandran

Ravi was a very nippy and skilful winger! Because of that, he always managed to cause havoc in our defending third and easily penetrate our box.

Central midfielder: Yap Wai Loon

A good passer of the ball, Wai Loon would always look for spaces to pass the ball. If you were playing against him, you had to be very smart and not give him a lot of time on the ball.

Central midfielder: Mubin Mokhtar

Mubin’s playing style was similar to Wai Loon, so they clicked really well. He was also capable of playing with both feet and scoring long-range goals.

Left midfielder: Nidzam Adha

Although Nidzam may have looked very slow, he was very tricky. He was like Ravi, but he was a bit more skilful and liked to cut inside.

Centre forward: Zainal Abidin Hassan

You know, la. [laughs]

Centre forward: Dollah Salleh

I think Dollah and Zainal were the best strike partnership Malaysian football has ever had. It was never easy playing against both of them together, but when I was playing for Sabah, we managed to [contain them and] beat Pahang en route to the Malaysia Cup final in 1996.