AFF Championship: Malaysia's Akhyar explains his current fitness condition

The 2018 AFF Championship will be Akhyar Rashid's first edition, but it is also his fifth international tournament at any age level in 2018 alone.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Malaysia starlet Akhyar Rashid's fitness level has been in doubt over the past months, mainly due to the fact that he has been playing for Malaysia U-19, U-23 and senior sides, as well as for his club Kedah, this year.

For example, just days after Malaysia were eliminated from the 2018 AFC U-19 Championship finals on October 27, the teenager joined the senior Malaysia team training camp for their 2018 AFF Championship preparations.

He was selected to be in the tournament squad by head coach Tan Cheng Hoe, and although it will be Akhyar's first time playing in the biennial regional tournament, it will be his fifth tournament at any age level in 2018 alone.

Just days before the Harimau Malaya were set to take on Cambodia in Phnom Penh for the opening match of the 2018 AFF Championship, Goal asked the 19-year old about the condition of his fitness.

"The tournaments I've been in have helped my fitness level, but I still need to be wary.

"I can play, but it depends on the tactics. If we play a high-pressing game, I'm not going to be able to play for the full 90 minutes. But to a certain extent, I also have to push myself mentally.

"I had been given a three-day break (after AFC U-19), and then when I joined the senior team training camp, I spent some time working on recovery and rehab, and in the swimming pool," explained the youngster.

Malaysia's Group A match against Cambodia will kick off at 7.30 pm Malaysian time, November 8, Thursday.

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