Tan Cheng Hoe calls up seven JDT stars, Thanabalan for Fiji friendly

Nicolas Anil Nicolas Anil

Eight new faces including wonder kid N. Thanabalan for Tan Cheng Hoe as he announces squad for Malaysia’s international friendly against Fiji.

Malaysia national head coach Tan Cheng Hoe has called up N. Thanabalan as one of eight new faces to take on Fiji in the first of six international friendlies as the Harimau Malaya gear up for November’s AFF Suzuki Cup.

Ifwat Akmal, Syazwan Zainon, Rizal Ghazali, Nasir Basharudin, Amirul Azhan, Aidil Zafuan and Danial Ashraf complete the other seven of Tan’s 24-man squad to face the Fijians on July 5 at Cheras Stadium.

After playing the South Pacific nation, Malaysia will go on to face Chinese Taipei (September 7), Cambodia (September 10), Sri Lanka (October 12), Kyrgyzstan (October 16) and Maldives (November 3).

Tan has also called up seven players from league leaders Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) for this friendly.

Besides Aidil, Nazmi Faiz, Syafiq Ahmad, Safawi Rasid, Ahmad Hazwan Bakri, Corbin-Ong and Adam Nor Azlin will be the representation from the Southern Tigers.

Malaysia will be pining to find their best line-up before the biennial regional showcase rolls along from November 8-December 15.

At the AFF Cup, Malaysia are in Group A alongside Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Should the Malaysians overcame Fiji, it would be only their second win of the year.

Malaysia had drawn against Mongolia 2-2 in their first match of 2018, before losing 2-1 to Lebanon in the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers in March.

They finally ended a 16-month winless run by thumping Bhutan 7-0 on April 1.

Tan’s men will gather for national centralised training on July 1 to prepare for Fiji.

Malaysia squad to face Fiji

24-man squad: Nazmi Faiz (JDT), Syafiq Ahmad (JDT), Safawi Rasid (JDT), Ahmad Hazwan Bakri (JDT), Corbin-Ong (JDT), Adam Nor Azlin (JDT), Aidil Zafuan (JDT), Hafizul Hakim (Perak FA), Shahrul Saad (Perak FA), Nazirul Naim (Perak FA), Amirul Azhan (Perak FA), Nasir Basharudin (Perak FA), Ifwat Akmal (Kedah FA), Akram Mahinan (Kedah FA), Syazwan Zainon (Kedah FA), Rizal Ghazali (Kedah FA), Zaquan Adha (Kuala Lumpur FA), Syazwan Andik (Kuala Lumpur FA), Irfan Zakaria (Kuala Lumpur FA), Irfan Zakaria (Kuala Lumpur FA), Wan Zack Haikal (Felda United FC), Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Melaka United FA), N. Thanabalan (Negeri Sembilan FA), Rawilson Batuil (Sabah FA), Danial Ashraf (Kelantan FA)

Photo credit: Football Association of Malaysia Facebook