10 possible call-ups for Malaysia
Malaysia head coach Tan Cheng Hoe will be finalising his selection ahead of two friendly matches in September against the Chinese Taipei and Cambodia, as he prepares his team for the AFF Suzuki Cup in November.
Tan has already indicated he will be analysing many players from the Under-19 and U23 squads, so we can expect to see some new faces accompanying the regulars.
Here are 10 possible call-ups.
Akhyar Rashid (Kedah FA)
At only 19, the diminutive prodigy can be touted as Malaysia’s next best thing. The Kedah winger is blessed with immense speed and is not afraid to take on bigger defenders or have a crack at goal.
Akhyar has represented Malaysia in all youth levels from the U16 to the senior squad, and he has made an impact in every age group. Most recently, he helped Malaysia clinch their maiden AFF U19 Championship title.
Nik Akif Syahiran (Kelantan FA)
Here’s another pocket dynamite teenager that should go on to have a stellar career. Nik Akif was promoted to Kelantan’s first team in 2017. He is not as explosive as Akhyar, but has made a bigger impact on the U19 stage.
At the U19 AFF Championship final, Nik Akif struck a brace as Malaysia beat Myanmar to lift the title. That big game heroics could do him good in senior colours.
Hadi Fayyadh (Johor Darul Ta’zim II)
Experiencing a week-long trial with Japan’s J2 side Roasso Kunamoto must have done Hadi some good. The lanky striker has been drafted into Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s U23 squad for the Asian Games football tournament.
If the JDT striker does well, he could be absorbed by Tan for the upcoming friendlies too. It’s been awhile since Malaysia had a towering striker that can provide an aerial threat.
At 6 ft 2’, Hadi’s power and physique could add a different dimension to the senior team.