Matthew Davies Q&A: Captaincy, coaches and chasing SEA Games gold

Pahang captain Matthew Davies speaks to Vijhay Vick ahead of the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, where the Malaysians have set their sights on gol. Stopping Thailand’s bid for a third straight title will be tough, but the right-back wants to make full use of home ground advantage.

The AFF Suzuki Cup didn't go so well for the team or for yourself, will you be looking for retribution at the SEA Games?

I wouldn't say it didn't go too well for me, but obviously I was played out of position and it was disappointing. I did what I could from that position. I wouldn't say I'm looking for retribution.

(A gold medal is) something a lot of boys have set their sights on for this year and a major goal for a lot of players

The SEA Games are on home soil, but the Thais are looking very dominant. Realistically where do Malaysia stand in their gold medal hopes?

Despite the confusion of what's going on and what the plans are for the SEA Games, I'd say we still have a good chance, especially on home soil … that's going to bring huge advantage to us.

I'd say we are not the favourites but we’ve got as good a chance as anyone else and we have a talented squad.

What would it mean to you to win the 2017 SEA Games gold medal?

It will be huge for this whole squad and myself ... something that a lot of boys have set their sights on for this year and a major goal for a lot of players.

Like I said, especially on Malaysian soil, it would be so big.

The Suzuki Cup proved disappointing for the Tigers

You have worked with new Malaysia under-22 coach Ong Kim Swee in the past, are you looking forward to it again?

I am looking forward to working under Ong. I’ve been lucky enough to work with him for the best part of three years now – one previous SEA Games, Suzuki Cup and some Asian Cup qualifiers.

Now for our second SEA Games, I think it will be good.

You didn't have much time with the under-22s in the past because of senior team commitments, but did you find former coach Frank Bernhardt?

I'm probably not in the best position to comment on Bernhardt and how he was because of the limited time I got to spend with him.

I think I only spent maybe seven or eight days in camp in total.

[NEXT: We ask Davies about captaincy and trophies at Pahang]