Malaysia Under-23 squad announced for 2012 S-League

The Young Tigers will be looking to make a strong impression as they prepare for the daunting challenges that await them in the Singaporean League
The Malaysian Under-23 side have officially announced the squad that will do battle in the S-League, which is scheduled to begin in February 2012.

Coach Ong Kim Swee has revealed that a top-five finish remains a key aspiration although natural progression for the young players will be their main aim.

"The FAM management haven't set us a target, the most important thing is for the boys to get exposure, but we have to learn to aim for more and achieve our goals," he was quoted by Today Online.

"My aim is to finish in the top five and I want to see how the boys accept that challenge.

"Don't be surprised by the good football that these boys are capable of playing, I think we'll be able to entertain fans and keep them coming back to watch us."

The Young Tigers have been in impressive form under Kim Swee's guidance throughout the year. After finishing fifth in the Malaysian Super League, they showed great resilience to triumph in the South East Asean Games, overcoming host nations Indonesia in the final.

However, their capabilities will be tested immensely as several key players from that SEA Games victory will not available to Kim Swee when the S-League kicks off next year. That list will include goalkeeper Khairul Fahmie, skipper Baddrol Bakhtiar, K. Gurusamy, Asraruddin Putra and Muslim Ahmad but Kim Swee is optimistic for his current crop players.

"We've lost nine boys from that squad, but when the seniors leave, young players get to step in, and if we don't give them a chance we'll never know if they can make the step up," said Ong.

"A lot of these boys have already got exposure at this age, have played in international tournaments and the key thing we need to achieve is consistency throughout the season."

The usual household names will be leading their charge with the likes of Wan Zack Wan Haikal, Irfan Fazail, Fadhli Shas, Thamil Arasu and even Syahrul Azwari being named in the squad. Also not forgetting Malaysian teenage sensation Nazmi Faiz, who has been terrific in recent times.

Young Tigers' squad:

Mahali Jasuli, Affizie Faisal, V Kalaichelvan, Syahid Zaihon, Izzaq Faris Ramlan, Shahril Saari, Fadhli Shas, Wan Zack Haikal, Thamil Arasu, Irfan Fazail, Wan Zaharul Nizam, Izham Tarmizi, Ferris Danial, Ahmad Hazwan, Fandi Othman, D Saarvindran, Garry Steven Robbat, Amer Saidin, Syahrul Azwari, Farhan Abu Bakar, Nazirul Naim, Shahrul Saad, Nazmi Faiz, Syazwan Tajuddin, Akmal Ishak, Azizan Nordin, Nur Areef Kamaruddin, Firdaus Muhammad.