Malaysian youth players invited for playing stints with PSG, AZ Alkmaar

Nicolas Anil Nicolas Anil

A few Malaysian youngsters have a chance to fulfil their dreams with Paris Saint-Germain and AZ Alkmaar.

Three Malaysian youth players from the National Football Development Programme (NFDP) will have the honour of representing French champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to participate in a European tournament in June.

Hazzriq Haqqim, Rohisham Haiqal Hashim and Muhammad Haykal Danish, all 13, will have an all-expense paid trip for the tournament scheduled in Rome from June 21 to 24.

The NFDP already have some of their academy players in Europe after Adam Farhan, Muhammad Aznil Hafiz and Zulhilmi Sharani were invited for an attachment with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.

NFDP chief executive officer Safirul Azli Abu Bakar said the aim is to keep sending these promising players to Europe in hopes they will make a breakthrough when they turn professional.

“If we keep sending them to Europe, hopefully when they turn 18 these clubs will look at them. As of now, UEFA has put a scouting regulation to not take players from outside their scouting radius,” said Safirul.

“That is why they are only sent for attachment stints or by invitation. But our players are always on their radar. So when they turn professional, the hope is that they will impress enough to be signed by these European clubs. If not Europe, then perhaps Japan.”

The NFDP is seen as the country’s conveyer belt to churn out the next generation of talented Malaysian footballers.

Since its inception in 2014, thousands of players have been included into the programme and the boys are regularly exposed to playing top sides from Europe and Asia.

In 2015, the NFDP Under13 boys won the prestigious youth tournament Iber Cup that included participation from Spanish giants Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.

The next target for these academy boys is to qualify for the Under-17 World Cup in 2019.

In 2014, Malaysia were one game away from making the 2015 U17 World Cup, but lost to Australia and missed out.