Kim Swee goes for gold
DESPITE the limited time, national under-22 coach Ong Kim Swee believes he will be able to turn his players into a formidable unit to win the gold at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games in August.
Kim Swee does not have the luxury of time, considering that the football competition in the Sea Games starts in 78 days.
“It will be my fourth Sea Games as a coach and in the previous editions, the targets were also gold medals. It is no different this time around.
“Winning the Sea Games title is important and as the hosts, we surely want to achieve the target,” said Kim Swee at Wisma FAM yesterday.
Yesterday, Kim Swee had his first session with the players on his return as the under-22 coach, The team will go for a playing tour in China next month. Kim Swee is also preparing the team for the AFC Under23 qualifiers in Bangkok on July 19-23, where Malaysia are in Group H with Thailand, Indonesia and Mongolia.
Kim Swee’s squad will head to Xiangtan for a friendly with China’s under-22 team on June 8, followed by playing the reserve sides of Guangzhou R&F (June 13) and Guangzhou Evangrande (June 15).
They will next face a Super League side on June 22 and break camp on the following day.
“The AFC qualifiers is very important. Qualification would mean that we will have a chance to play against top Asian teams,” said the coach.
All the trainees, except for Safawi Rasid, who is in Manila with Darul Ta’zim for tomorrow’s AFC Cup match against Ceres Negros, reported yesterday.
However, Felda United midfielder Ahmad Azriddin Rosli and Sarawak’s Nur Shamie Iszuan Amin are down with minor injuries.
“I retained most of the players from the previous squad (under Frank Bernhardt) and added some new faces. I have my own programme for the team. The matches in China are important for me to analyse the players. I still have the time to look into the players’ progress,” Kim Swee added.
Pahang defender Matthew Davies and midfielder Muhd Nor Azam Abdul Azih are also eligible for the Sea Games but they are now with the senior team in China.
National under-22 coach Ong Kim Swee with his players at Wisma FAM yesterday.