2017 was one to forget for young Dominc Tan. The JDT centre back was promoted to the Super League side from Johor Darul Ta'zim II at the start of the season but struggled to live up to expectations.
Both Benjamin Mora and Ulisses Morais rate him highly and both were ready to give him a chance in the first team when injuries and suspensions took its toll on the team. However, Dominic's performance left a lot to be desired despite the early promises.
Having been a feature of the Malaysia Under-23 squad, it was his poor form going into the SEA Games that meant Ong Kim Swee had to drop the 20-year-old from the squad. But Dominic is back in the provisional squad this time around, preparing for the AFC U23 Championships in China in January 2018.
"This season has been a bad season for me but I've learnt a lot of things. I'm sure it will help me in the coming seasons. I will put it behind me and use it as motivation for the future."
"Definitely it's going to be a challenge for me (to be in the final AFC U23 squad). It's not going to be easy but I'll give my best and see how things work out. I think nobody is safe because there's a lot of competition and everybody need to prove themselves," Dominic told Goal.
With Adam Nor Azlin, Irfan Zakaria and Adib Zainuddin having performed so well for the team during the AFC U23 qualifiers and also the SEA Games, they looked a certain bet to get on the flight to China.
Which will leave the likes of Syazwan Zaipol and Shivan Pillay Asokan as the ones competing with Dominic for a place in the biggest stage for the under-age group in the continent.
Ong is expected to give everyone a fair crack of the whip in the two friendly matches against PJ Rangers and Melaka United, prior to dropping three players from the team that will fly out for more friendly matches in South Korea and China.