PETALING JAYA: Sime Darby FC defender K. Prabhakaran has promised to repay national Under-23 coach Ong Kims Swee’s faith in him with an improved performance.
Prabhakaran, S. Sivanesan of Negri Sembilan and the Bukit Jalil Sports School duo Mohd Arif Farhan Mohd Isa and Adam Nor Azlin are the only players outside the national Under-23 squad to be selected by Kim Swee for a playing and training stint in Australia starting today (Jan 23-Feb 2).
The 22-year-old Prabhakaran, who played for the national Under-19 side in the 2010 Newspaper Cup in Vietnam, said he was surprised to be included in the team.
“This is the moment that I have been waiting for after failing to stamp my mark with the national Under-19 team.
“Now, my aim is to stake a claim in the Under-23 side,” said the left footer, a regular for Sime Darby in the Premier League this season.
“I want to thank coach Kim Swee for his faith in me.
“I will work harder to prove that he made the right decision to pick me for this stint in Australia.”
The national Under-23 team will play four matches against Australian Premier League sides. Their first match is against Gold Coast Sharks on Jan 26 followed by Sunshine Coast Fire (Jan 29), Brisbane Olympic (Feb 2) and Brisbane Roar (Feb 5). The Brisbane Roar are the defending A-League champions.
Kim Swee, however, will be without six regulars – Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor, Fadhli Shas, Gary Robbat, Nik Shahrul Azim Abdul Halim, Zubir Azmi and K. Reuben – as they are with the national senior side preparing for the Asian Cup qualifying match against Qatar in Doha on Feb 6.
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