Five players Tan Cheng Hoe must consider for Malaysia based on form

Nicolas Anil puts forth five players from the Malaysia Super League and Premier League who must be part of Tan Cheng Hoe’s plans for the AFF Suzuki Cup.

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The Malaysia national team are due to feature in a flurry of friendly matches over the next few months as they prepare for November’s AFF Suzuki Cup.

While he might get obligated to choose some regular faces, it is mandatory he selects his best men purely on form.

Here are five players who are knocking hard on the national door after excelling in recent months.

Helmi Eliza (Pahang FA, goalkeeper)

It has been almost a decade since the Pahang custodian donned national colours, and there isn’t a better time for a long awaited call-up. Helmi has conceded 14 goals in the league so far, to keep Pahang within sight of a top-three finish. Only Farizal Marlias has done a better job with league leaders Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT). Helmi’s age of 35 belies his anticipation, awareness and agility, and he will justify the call-up should Tan take notice. Helmi has bailed his teammates out on a number of occasions this season, most recently against the Southern Tigers at Larkin Stadium. Based on current form, it is hard to overlook a shot-stopper like Helmi.

Hafiz Ramdan (PKNP FC, winger)

Abu Bakar Fadzim’s great work with his young, promising, local squad has shone through this year, and Hafiz Ramdan is one those precious gems. The 25-year-old has showed tremendous potential with his high work-rate and speed, while his character and dedication sets the ideal example for young players coming through the club. Against Selangor FA, Hafiz was nursing a high fever, but insisted on playing. He did, and ended up scoring a scorching last-minute equalizer at Cheras Stadium. This is the characteristics Tan will want in his team.