Datuk K.Rajagopal has named his initial 27-man squad to face two English top flight teams in July at the Bukit Jalil Stadium, the Football Association of Malaysia announced today.
This group of players will now report for training and undergo selection before the squad is trimmed down. The final squad will then be prepared to face Arsenal on the 24th of July followed by a game against last season’s Barclays Premier League champions, Manchester City six days later. Both games are scheduled to kick-off at 9.45p.m.
It is also understood that the national squad would then be brought for a short overseas training stint from 14 to 16 August.
Star striker Safee Sali is expected to return from his Indonesian club Pelita Jaya and report for the training while Kelantan captain Badri Radzi was overlooked again despite some outstanding performances in the Malysian Super League. Selangor winger Amirul Hadi, who has been a regular under Rajagopal was also missing from the list.
Two uncapped players were also included, namely Norazlan Razali of Selangor and Sabah’s Rozaimi Abdul Rahman, whose goal scoring exploits in the AFC U-22 Asian Cup qualification last month caught the nation’s attention.
The squad –
Goalkeepers : Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Kelantan); Norazlan Razali (Selangor); Farizal Marlias (Negeri Sembilan)
Defenders : Asraruddin Putra Omar, Bunyamin Umar (Selangor); Muslim Ahmad, Faizal Muhamad (Terengganu); S. Subramaniam (Kelantan); Mahalli Jasuli, Fadhli Shas (Harimau Muda A); Aidil Zafuan Abd Razak, Amiridzwan Taj Tajudin, Azmi Muslim (ATM)
Midfielders : Amar Rohidan, Baddrol Bakhtiar, Khyril Muhymeen Zambri (Kedah); Safiq Rahim (Selangor); S. Kunanlan (Negeri Sembilan); Shakir Shaari (Kelantan); Ashaari Samsuddin (Terengganu); Azamuddin Mohd Akil (Pahang); Yong Kuong Yong (Felda United FC)
Forwards : Ahmad Shakir Ali, Shahurain Abu Samah (Negeri Sembilan); Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Kelantan); Rozaimi Abdul Rahman (Sabah); Safee Sali (Pelita Jaya)