Saiful Nizam dropped
AN injury to regular Saiful Nizam Mohd Ali will not stop the national men’s futsal team from achieving their target in the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games.
Coach Chiew Chun Yong is convinced that his 16-member squad will make an impression.
Saiful Nizam, who is one of the country’s best futsal players, was dropped due to an ankle problem but Chun Yong has a cover in Akmarulnizam Idris, who recently recovered from an unspecified injury.
“Saiful plays an important role in the team but I have found a suitable replacement. I am relieved that Akmarulnizam has recovered and is able to play,” said Chun Yong yesterday.
“The players responded well to strategies in recent friendly matches. I believe the players are ready although there are still minor aspects to work on.”
Saiful Nizam was replaced by his Melaka teammate Firdaus Ambiah.
Although upset, Saiful Nizam, who played in the 2011 (Indonesia) and 2013 (Myanmar) editions, believes his teammates will come good when competition starts on Friday at Panasonic Stadium in Shah Alam.
“Of course, I am upset but what can I do as I am injured. It has come at a wrong time. I will support my teammates from the stands (when competition starts) and hopefully, we can achieve something,” said Saiful Nizam.
Malaysia will start their campaign against Myanmar on Friday, followed by Vietnam (Sunday), Indonesia (Aug 22) and Thailand (Aug 27). Syafiq Aznan