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FFT's 2017 SEA Games Focus: Five young Malaysians that impressed in June

With the SEA Games on home soil just two months away, the Malaysia under-22 squad had a three-match stint in China in June as part of a training camp held over three weeks. FourFourTwo picks five players that impressed during the call-up and may be crucial during the Games.

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SYAMER KUTTY ABBA

A regular in Penang’s Malaysia Super League (MSL) relegation battle this season, that top-flight experience is helping the 19-year-old cement his place in the Malaysia under-22 squad.

Syameer started alongside Amirul Hisyam Awang Kechik in the 1-0 defeat to China under-22 in the opening match before coming on in the second half against Guangzhou R&F (2-2).

He also paired with Felda United's Danial Amier Norhisham in the 3-0 win against Guangzhou Evergrande.

Though largely a winger and forward when he was younger, Syamer is showing a lot of promise in central midfield. Standing over six-feet tall, the lanky youngster's ability to win aerial challenges gives him an edge.

The AFC Under-22 qualifiers in July will provide a better indication of where he stands in the pecking order as the likes of Amirul Hisyam and Ahmad Khairil Anuar Zamri are also eager to shore up their places.

ADAM NOR AZLIN

The Games may be where Adam finally settles in one position. Coaches like having players who can play in a few positions, but Adam’s versatility may have actually slowed his development as he has never really been able to get comfortable in any position.

The Selangor youngster has played as a defender, midfielder, winger and striker for club and country in the past.

Coach Ong Kim Swee, however, has stuck to utilising the 21-year-old at centre-back. Having lost the services of Faris Shah Rosli due to injury and Dominic Tan, who was among the notable players dropped, Adam was fielded in a back-three alongside skipper Adib Zainuddin and Irfan Zakaria.

With Malaysia lacking younger options at centre-back across the MSL, Adam needs to make the most of being fielded regularly at centre-back. He isn’t the best of forwards nor midfielders of his generation, and a defensive role could be his future.