BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Although he has only been called up to the Malaysia U-23 training camp for the coming Asian Games as a stand-by player, utility player Syahmi Safari is determined to fight for a place in the final 20-man squad.
Under Datuk Ong Kim Swee he has so far been placed lower in the Young Tigers' pecking order, making only sporadic appearances in tournaments and competitions.
However, the Selangor player has completely shaken off a month-long injury to come back stronger in the Red Giants' starting eleven, and despite having recently been played mostly as a midfielder, Syahmi has scored in their last two Super League matches.
Furthermore, the absence of Matthew Davies, who alongside his Pahang teammate Azam Azih has not been released by the club, as well as Kim Swee's decision to drop Aidil Zafuan Abd Radzak and Syamer Kutty Abba due to injuries, have presented the 20-year old player with a better chance of not just being selected, but also to get more playing time in the Asiad.
When met by the press just before the team's Monday training session, Syahmi, who has also played as a wing back, winger and forward, remarked that he is willing to feature in any position for the 2018 AFC U-23 quarter-finalists.
"I can't say for sure whether the absences mean I am now a shoe-in for a place in the squad, after all I'm only on the back-up list. I have to work hard to convince the coach, and the rest is up to him.
"This time around, I have no idea where he wants me to play, but admittedly, I am more comfortable playing in an attacking role.
"In order to convince him, I need to work on my maturity and composure, considering that the other squad members have more experience than I do," explained Syahmi.
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