When Johor Darul Ta'zim signed La'Vere Corbin-Ong before the start of the 2018 M-League season, Malaysian fans were already anticipating to see a player with European league experience showcasing his talent for the Harimau Malaya.
But despite numerous opportunities since, Corbin has not been part of the national team set-up. Only once had Tan Cheng Hoe included Corbin into the call-up, back in March 2018 for the matches against Mongolia and Lebanon.
However lanky left back was injured during training and missed out on those matches. Now the second opportunity has opened up for the England-born player and he is committed to catch the eyes of the coaching staff enough to finally make his bow for Malaysia.
"This is the second time that I've come to the national team now. Everyone has been very welcoming on both times. I do feel a part of the group and the training sessions have been a big help to get used to the players. Taking part in the highest competition is Asia, the Asian Champions League, it's always going to improve individuals. So playing in those 6 games have definitely helped me.
"I don't know much about the opponents. For me it's about coming into the squad and showing my capabilities. Then the rest is for the coaching staff to make the decision on who's going to play and who has the ability to help the team," Corbin told Goal.
The former Go Ahead Eagles player has a tremendous engine and is capable looking like he owns the entire flank from one end to another. His towering presence also means that he can be an aerial threat when required, though that is not necessarily his strongest suit. His long throws though are a good weapon for Cheng Hoe to consider.
Going up against Corbin for the left back spot is Syazwan Andik, a player who shone during Malaysia's run to the final of the 2018 AFF Cup. Moving back to JDT from Kuala Lumpur this season, Syazwan is behind the Corbin in the pecking order at club level, a situation that looks to be replicated at the international level.
If the training sessions are anything to go by, Corbin is very much part of the first XI thinking. It took longer than expected but barring some untoward incident in the next few days, Corbin will finally be able to make his long awaited bow in Malaysian colours.
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