Extra meaning return to the Malaysia NT for Brendan

Sports Regime
It has been a long hard road back for the midfielder and Brendan Gan will be looking to fully utilise the opportunity given by Tan Cheng Hoe.

It was against Indonesia in Solo on September 6 2016 that Brendan suffered his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and the Garuda Indonesia will be the team that he is aiming to earn a spot in, in his return to the Malaysia national team set-up after three long years.

The 31-year-old midfielder has had a good 12-18 months with Perak, helping them to the Malaysia Cup triumph in 2018 as well as reaching the final of the FA Cup in 2019. His form at the heart of Perak's midfield has caught the attention of Cheng Hoe leading to his call-up in the 27-man squad.

As hard a worker and determined player that Brendan is, the road back hasn't always been a smooth one but through help from those around him, Brendan has been able to overcome the obstacles to not only come back to play football but to reach the high level that he has shown recently.

"I think it's a little bit sweeter. Because I went out injured against Indonesia last time and to come back now with the national team. It has been a long three years and it has been difficult. I just stayed true to myself and continued to work hard. Hopefully I can be back to the squad and start playing for Malaysia again.

"There were always thoughts in my mind that it could be the end of my career. Anyone going through an ACL injury like that can have thoughts like that in their mind. But I had a good group around me, my family and my friends. I had a good surgeon. I just had to take one step at a time and take those little wins that you can get," said Brendan on Sunday.

Malaysia's Khair Jones (left) celebrating his goal with Brendan Gan 2016

The competition for places in the final 23-man squad that Cheng Hoe will name before the team departs for Jakarta will be fierce. The friendly against Jordan will be a very big gauge on top of what Brendan can show in the training sessions leading to the final squad decision.

Akram Mahinan, Syarmer Kutty Abba, Nor Azam Azih and Danial Amier are the four players that will vie with Brendan in what is a very healthy competition for places in Cheng Hoe's squad. Everyone has different traits and for Brendan that is a good headache for the national team head coach to have. 

"It feels amazing to be back. It's always an honour to play for your country. To have a few years out with injury and then come back to Perak and doing my job wel to get an opportunity with the Malaysia national team is very exciting.  It's going very difficult because it's the national team. It should be difficult. You cannot take anything lightly.

"These players are wonderful players and they have shown throughout the season that they are an amazing bunch of players especially from the last national team games. I'm going to give my 100% every time I come to training, every time I come to the field and that's all I can do. I control the things I need to control.

"I think everyone brings something different, that's why we are chosen. You can't always have the same attributes because then there's no difference in any of the players. There are definitely attributes I can bring to the team. It's whether I can do it under what coach Tan wants and his tactics. And I hopefully I can do well for the national team," added Brendan.


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