Dollah Salleh: Step up or step aside

Following recent comments from Datuk Ong Kim Swee, PDRM head coach Dollah Salleh has challenged local strikers to raise their games for the sake of the Harimau Malaya.

According to Bernama, OKS was disappointed with most M-League clubs choosing to play foreign strikers instead of locals, resulting in the lack of depth and talent in the national team's striking department.

In Harimau Malaya's latest friendly game against the Philippines, the current national interim coach was only able to call up four 'natural' strikers - Kelantan's Fakri Saarani was the only one aged below 30.

Dollah Salleh, whose squad boasts the attacking front of Brazilian target man Charles Souza Chad and Maldives captain Ali Ashfaq in the Police's quest for Malaysian Super League promotion, felt sympathy for OKS.

"I understand Kim Swee's concern, and he could be right that we may not have a lot of good players, especially strikers, available for the national team at the moment," the PDRM head coach said.

"When every team signs and plays foreign players, it will definitely sideline the locals [and affect the national team]."

However, Dollah Salleh was also keen to stress that the clubs and their foreign stars should not be fully blamed, and that the local players should be held responsible as well. 

"To me, if you're a professional player, you have to fight for your place in the team.

"Whether you are a local player or not, if you can put up a fight, train well and perform, I will play you.

"During my playing time, everyone including myself had to compete with foreigners.

"So, why can't today's players do it?" pondered the former striker, who played for Johor, Selangor, Pahang, Melaka and Negeri Sembilan in a career spanning over a decade.