Kim Swee says national trainees will return to their clubs after friendly
REPORTS BY AJITPAL SINGH email@example.com
GOOD cooperation between clubs and the national team is vital for the progress of Malaysian football. Following the postponement of the Asian Cup qualifiers against North Korea, national coach Ong Kim Swee will release his 22 trainees to their respective clubs after the international friendly against the Philippines in Manila on March 22.
The friendly was supposed to be a warm-up for the match against North Korea in Pyongyang on March 28 before the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) postponed it due to the tension between both countries.
“The trainees will be released after the trip to Manila. Some players need the rest and prepare with their clubs for the AFC Cup and the FA Cup quarter-finals,” said Kim Swee yesterday.
“I hope the clubs will be happy with this decision. The clubs have tight schedules and now their players will have more time to rest and recover.
“I believe that good communication between clubs and the FA of the Malaysia is important and that it will benefit the country.”
Kim Swee took charge of the team yesterday upon his return from Malacca to settle family issues following the death of his father last week.
The match against the Philippines will be Kim Swee’s 24th international as national coach in different periods since 2014. Malaysia recorded eight wins, seven draws and eight losses under the Malacca-born coach.
Kim Swee said the postponement of the Asian Cup qualifying game against North Korea will not affect his team much.
“As long as the safety of the players and officials are guaranteed, we will go. It is important for both parties to work together,” he said.
AFC are expected to decide on a new date sometime in June at a neutral venue.
Malaysia’s last four matches against the Philippines ended in draws. The national team’s last win came in the 4-0 thrashing of their Southeast Asian opponent in the 2007 AFF Cup in Bangkok.
National coach Ong Kim Swee (left) oversees training at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya yesterday. Malaysia play the Philippines in Manila in a friendly on March 22.