Syahmi explains reason behind lack of playing time in SEA Games

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Selangor's Syahmi Safari was not a regular starter for Malaysia U22 in the recent SEA Games, and the youngster told Goal the reason why.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


Despite having been touted as one of the best prospects in the Malaysia Super League (MSL) this season, Selangor winger Syahmi Safari had a relatively underwhelming 2017 SEA Games campaign with Malaysia U22 recently.

He was used mainly as a late substitute by head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee, and when he was handed a start in their group match against Singapore, he failed to impress Ong, who took him off at halftime for midfielder Nor Azam Azih.

But when met by Goal, the youngster said he took the snub in his stride, believing that he will get more chances in the future as he is still young.

"The SEA Games is a valuable experience for me, as I got to take part in a competition at that level at a young age.

"I did not get to play much as Matthew Davies was constantly picked ahead of me. He's far more experienced, having played in the AFF Championship, and he's been with the coach (Ong) for a while now. And coach knows our individual strengths, so it is ultimately up to him.

"I'm not disappointed, in fact it's an experience for me to be able to learn from my teammates," revealed the 19-year old winger when met earlier this week.

He then explained that in order to prove himself to Ong, he needs to perform more consistently.

"I have to work harder and prove myself in the league and the Malaysia Cup, but what's also important is for me to be consistent with my performance.

"That doesn't necessarily mean just scoring goals or providing assists, but also for me to defend better," noted Syahmi.

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