Play­ers not dis­tracted by money and suc­cess

New Straits Times - - Sport -

NA­TIONAL Un­der-22 foot­ball skip­per Adib Zain­ud­din feels that all the ac­co­lades and re­wards they have re­ceived will not de­rail their Sea Games cam­paign start­ing on Mon­day.

The cen­tral de­fender said the play­ers are fo­cused on lay­ing their hands on the gold, which last came Malaysia’s way six years ago in Jakarta af­ter a tense penalty shoot-out.

“We would like to thank the Sul­tan of Jo­hor (Sul­tan Ibrahim Iskan­dar) and the FA of Malaysia’s man­age­ment for re­ward­ing us af­ter our Bangkok feat.

“We have also re­ceived ac­co­lades from var­i­ous quar­ters and fans, and we be­lieve that giv­ing our best, and a pos­i­tive out­ing will jus­tify their faith in us even more,” said Adib.

Af­ter qual­i­fy­ing for the fi­nal round of the Asian Un­der-23 tour­na­ment in China next year for the first time, coach Ong Kim Swee’s charges each re­ceived RM25,000 from FAM and RM6,000 from Sul­tan Ibrahim.

With only four days to their open­ing Sea Games match against Brunei in Group A at the Shah Alam Sta­dium, Adib be­lieves his team-mates have given their best in train­ing and this has made Kim Swee’s job of se­lect­ing the fi­nal squad much harder.

“We know we will face tough chal­lenges at the games, and there is a healthy com­pe­ti­tion right now among team­mates for places.

“No player is in­dis­pens­able, in­clud­ing my­self, and the coach will have many op­tions when he se­lects the best 20 play­ers to­mor­row (to­day),” said the FELCRA FC player. Az­i­man Rosdi

Adib Zain­ud­din

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