Ong drops Selangor's new signing as U23 squad readies for Korean trip

Sean Eugene Selvaraj is among the three names dropped from the Malaysia Under-23 squad that will fly out to South Korea for the next preparation phase

Datuk Ong Kim Swee made the first cull in his U23 squad before the Saturday's travel to South Korea to begin the second phase of their preparations for the 2018 AFC U23 Championships in China.

The next phase is crucial as it involves the element of weather where the players will get around half a month to acclimatise with the cold weather as temperature in Changshu is expected to be ranging from -4oC to 10oC.

Terengganu FC II's Amierul Hakimi and Kelantan's Daniel Ashraf are the other players who will not be joining the party to Korea. Earlier, Syafiq Ahmad had been dropped following his failure to report to the squad after his wedding.

Ong made the decision after a 0-0 draw against Melaka United on Thursday evening, in a friendly match played at Shah Alam Stadium. 

The four players from the U19 squad has made quite an impression on Ong as he kept all four players called-up from Bojan Hodak's squad. Shivan Pillay Asokan, Nik Akif Syahiran, K. Thivandaran and Hadi Fayyah have all been given a chance to grab a place in the final squad.

In South Korea, Ong's boys will have three friendly matches to contest with - Mokpo City (Dec 20), Jeonju University (Dec 22) and Jeonju Citizen (Dec 28). After which a further three more players will be dropped to return back to Kuala Lumpur while the rest of the team head on towards China on December 30th.

Squad of 26 in full:

Goalkeepers: Ifwat Akmal, Haziq Nadzli, Ahmad Syihan

Defenders: Matthew Davies, Adib Zainuddin, Irfan Zakaria, Adam Nor Azlin, Shivan Pillay Asokan, Raphi Azizan, Dominic Tan, Syazwan Andik, Syazwan Zaipol

Midfielders: Ahmad Khairil Anuar, Nor Azam Azih, K. Thivandran, Syamer Kutty Abba, Tommy Mawat, Daniel Amier, Nik Akif Syahiran, Syahmi Safari

Forwards: Safawi Rasid, Jafri Firdaus Chew, N. Thanabalan, Akhyar Rashid, Hadi Fayyah, R. Kogileswaran