OKS: Limited time to prepare for Asia Games

Datuk Ong Kim Swee believes a combination of Harimau Muda A players and M-League players can bring something from the Asia Games in Incheon

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National under-23 squad head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee (OKS) has high hopes that his players can do well in the Asia games, despite bringing a "mixed squad" to South Korea.

OKS planned to bring 12 players from his Harimau Muda A squad, and 13 players from both the Super League and the Premier League.

However, OKS is worried that the time that he has to gather them before the Asia Games will be too short for the players.

According to Harian Metro, OKS said “I can only get them together when (the) Malaysia Cup takes a break on the 3rd of September. It’s a very short period to create strategies because I have to combine Harimau Muda A players, other players and three players who are above 23 years old.”

Despite that, OKS is still relieved that some of the players who will receive the call were his former players who have played with Harimau Muda A.

“What’s positive is that players like Wan Zack Haikal, Fadhli Shas, Wan Zaharulnizam, Thamil Arasu, Irfan Fazail, Rozaimi and Nazmi Faiz, they used to play for me and I know them well. But I’m also worried with their fitness as some of them rarely play, or not played at all this season,” added Ong Kim Swee.

For the quota of players over 23 years old, OKS will call JDT defenders Aidil Zafuan and S. Subramaniam, Kelantan’s Brendan Gan, PDRM’s Bobby Gonzales and Nor Farhan Muhammad of Terengganu for trials.

OKS has been given orders to at least qualify for the second round in the Asia Games, which they managed in 2010 before they lost to Iran 3-1.