Sai­ful Nizam dropped

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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

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