A year ago the then 20-year-old Danial was one of Malaysia's standout players in the AFC U23 Championship played in China where Ong Kim Swee's side reached the quarterfinal stage of the competition.
What should have been a big next 12 months ahead for Danial did not prove to be so as the lanky midfielder struggled with his fitness for parts of the 2018 season and did not have the continuity his career needed.
Now as some of the former U23 players have become too old for the squad, Danial will still be elligible for the upcoming challenges for the U23s and it doesn't come any bigger for the age-group than the Olympics qualification.
"We want to qualify for Olympics 2020 and that's our biggest target for this group of players and I want to give my best to the national team to achieve that target."
"I don't see it as a big difference in the role I'm playing but perhaps the difference will be the experience. What I've gone through previously with the Under-23s in the AFC and SEA Games competitions means that I had to produce more than the newcomers to the team," Danial told Goal.
In many ways, the scenario is also the same at club level for Danial. A severe reduction in budget for Felda United for the 2019 season saw numerous of their more established senior players joining a beeline for an exit out of the club.
With the team also having a new coach in Nidzam Jamil and will be returning to the Super League for the new season, Danial has already been told that he will be a key component of the team in their return to the top flight.
"2019 will be a more challenging season because as everyone know a lot of the key players for Felda last season have moved on to other teams and only a few of the seniors are left. The management are putting on a lot of expectations on me and that is a challenge I'm looking forward to," added Danial.
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