PETALING JAYA: Three Harimau Muda boys are set to pick up playing contracts with foreign clubs.
National Under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee said the trio, currently playing in the Singapore League, have been approached by respective agents and a decision will be made by the FA of Malaysia (FAM) soon.
The three are attacking midfielders – Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor, Wan Zaharulnizam Wan Zakaria and teenager Mohd Nazmi Faiz.
Kim Swee did not disclose the clubs who are keen on the boys but it learnt that two of the boys are set to join Japanese clubs while the other may be heading to Europe.
“We are in the midst of finalising the details and if all goes well the three will be playing abroad with professional contracts this year,” said Kim Swee.
Kim Swee said it was time for Malaysian players to raise the bar at international level.
“There is no denying that we lack the extras when it comes to playing at higher level competitions. We have more or less found a successful formula in regional championships (Southeast Asia) but it is the next level – Asia – we need to worked on.”
He said even though Malaysia did not win a single game in the recent Asian Final Rounds of the Olympic qualifiers (six straight defeats), the team had won the recognition from their counterparts from Asia.
“We have been invited to play matcches against our counterparts from Iran, Australia and China. If we did not make the Asian Final round no one would have known us,” said Kim Swee.
The Harimau Muda squad (Under-22 boys) currently playing in the S-League are making heads turn with their strong showing against clubs with foreign players. They are tied on points with leader’s Brunei DPMM FC at the top of the 13-team standings.
Kim Swee is preparing the team for the inaugural AFC Under-22 Asian Cup qualifiers in Myanmar from June 23-July 3. Eleven players from the 2011 SEA Games gold medal winning team in Jakarta have been called up for selection. Malaysia are drawn with South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines and hosts Myanmar in Group G.
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