BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Midfielder Danial Amier Norhisham is only 21-years old, but he is arguably one of the more senior members in the current Malaysia U-23 squad.
He had featured for the Young Tigers in the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship finals, scoring the only goal in their group encounter against Saudi Arabia, the goal that helped them advance to the quarter-final stage, the first Southeast Asian side ever to do so in the competition's history.
Now as head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee prepares the next batch of players for the 2020 AFC U-23 qualifiers, Danial is still eligible to take part in the competition, which offers each of the top three finishers in the finals a spot in the 2020 Olympics.
As one of the 23 players taken by Kim Swee to Thailand for a series of friendlies, Danial is perhaps the only regular starter from the previous squad, as the other key players who are still eligible have been left behind so they can prepare for the coming 2019 domestic season with their respective clubs.
And Danial is happy to add the leadership role to his current responsibilities in the team.
"We now have to do over due to the new players joining in, but it's expected to happen in junior teams. I have to start connecting with them to nail the chemistry in the friendlies.
"I have to take on some of these leadership roles because I've been with the team longer than the newcomers. I have to help guide them for the benefit of the team, chemistry-wise," said the Felda United player to Goal when met a week ago.
With the team set to take part in the 2019 AFF U-22 Championship in Cambodia first, from February 17 to March 2, before heading to the AFC U-23 qualifiers, Danial revealed what his objective in the regional tournament is.
"We have to use it (AFF tournament) to work on our chemistry with the new squad members, with the help of the key players. We need to get something there that we can take with us to the [AFC] qualifiers," he remarked.
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