Austria training stint for Harimau Malaya
PETALING JAYA, July 22 — The national football squad will train in Vienna, Austria from Aug 4-16 as preparation to defend AFF Suzuki Cup in November.
The squad, fondly known as Harimau Malaya, won the biennial football tournament in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2010.
Head coach Datuk K. Rajagobal said the 28 player squad will play three friendly matches against Austrian professional clubs yet to be determined.
“I will only pick the Suzuki Cup squad after assessing the players performance during the three matches,” he told reporters after the press conference for the match between Malaysia and Arsenal FC here today.
Rajagobal hopes that Mohd Safee Sali, Ahmad Shakir Mohd Ali, Yong Kuong Yong and Khairul Fahmi Che Mat who are struggling with injury will recover in timefor the tournament.
“I want to field the best players but must accept that they will get injured if fielded regularly and thus must find good replacement for them.”
Malaysia are drawn in group B with Suzuki Cup runners-up Indonesia and three times champions Singapore and will be joined by the qualifying round runners-up.
The qualifying round will be held from Oct 5-13 in Myanmar in a knockout format involving Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Timor Leste and the host country . Group A matches involving Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and qualifying round winners will be held at Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok.
The Group B matches will be played at National Stadium in Bukit Jalil from Nov 24 to Dec 22. Malaysia will start the campaign against Singapore on Nov 25 followed by qualifying round runners-up on Nov 28 before meeting Indonesia on Dec 1. — Bernama