Syamer was part of the midfield trio that was tried for the first time by Tan Cheng Hoe in his reign as the head coach of the Malaysia national team. Baddrol Bakhtiar and Nor Azam Azih stood alongside Syamer as Harimau Malaya took to the field against Tajikistan at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Saturday.
A mixed first half saw Brendan Gan coming in at the start of the second half to replace Baddrol with Syamer entrusted to keep his spot on the pitch. And after a difficult opening 45 minutes, Syamer started to show more what he can do in the second period with some forceful runs as well as good movement in picking up empty spaces.
Syamer has constantly been part of the squad, a run that hasn't changed since the 2018 AFF Championship but game time was at a premium due to the presence of players like Brendan and the use of Syafiq Ahmad in midfield. However this start could be the change of fortune that Syamer is looking for.
"It's good for me to get the playing time after so long. To get the tempo for the national team in an international game was quite hard for me the first time I joined the senior team but I'm used to it now. But there are still things to improve because the intensity is different.
"In the first half, we did what we can in midfield. I try to adapt and see how it goes in the first second half and in the second half I think it was better," Syamer told Goal.
It was in the regional competition last year that Syamer really made his mark at the senior level. Starting slowly, he quickly established himself as an integral part of Cheng Hoe's midfield as Malaysia stormed to the final of the competition only to lose out to Vietnam. But Syamer's performance did not go go unnoticed as was proven by his selection by AFF as one of the Best XI.
Against Thailand in the semi-final last year, Syamer was in his element in being the perfect foil alongside Akram Mahinan. Now with The War Elephants in the sights once again, Cheng Hoe may yet to turn Syamer for a repeat performance after Malaysia's midfield struggled in the previous match against Vietnam.
"I'm really happy to be selected in the Best XI. Credit goes to my team because without them, I cannot achieved this. This provides the motivation for me to work even harder and get better," added Syamer.
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