SHAH ALAM – National Under-22 (U-22) squad coach, Razip Ismail (pic) wants seven players from the Malaysia League (M-League) to strengthen his squad for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifying in March.
Razip said players such as Farhan Roslan of Kedah, Nazmi Faiz Mansor and Muhammad Syazwan Tajuddin were among the names bandied to boost the national U-22 squad.
“I have sought approval from the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and their coaches to release them for a quite a long period of time for potential players to join my squad.
“I hope the M-League schedule will not affect our training session,” he told reporters after attending the pre-season announcement of the Iranian football club, Zobahan FC in Shah Alam, Friday.
Zobahan FC will be having friendly matches with police and the U-22 national squad on Jan 6 and 9 respectively.
Razip said the players needed to join the U-22 squad by early March before the qualifying matches began on March 27.
He said, the initial participation of players would ensure M-League players and his squad foster better understanding in the field.
He also expressed his desire to hold more friendly matches with other Asian countries.
“Currently my team needs at least three or four friendly matches a month to gauge their opponents and gain exposure,” he said.
For the AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifying, Malaysia has been drawn in group I with Asian giants, Japan, Vietnam and Macau.
The qualifying round is scheduled to be held in Malaysia from March 27 to 31 and the group champions will move to the semi-finals of the 2016 AFC U-23 Cup in Qatar.
The top five runner-up teams will also be joining the finals in 2016. – Bernama