- By ERIC SAMUEL -
PETALING JAYA: The Harimau Muda A’s (Under-22) training cum playing tour of Brisbane will go on as scheduled despite the worsening flood conditions in Queensland, Australia.
Head coach Ong Kim Swee said it was business as usual for the team since they arrived in Brisbane on Saturday.
“All the four arranged matches will be played as scheduled. Fortunately, we are away from most of the flood-hit areas. We faced strong winds over the last two days but there is nothing to worry. We trained as usual,” said Kim Swee in a telephone interview from Brisbane yesterday.
In the first friendly on Tuesday, the Malaysians defeated Australian Premier League (APL) side Gold Coast Sharks 5-1. Yesterday, they beat Sunshine Coast Fire, another APL outfit, 2-1 with Izzaq Faris Ramlan (third minute) and Rozaimi Abdul Rahman (39th) the scorers.
The Malaysians are scheduled to play the Brisbane Olympic squad on Saturday before wrapping up their tour against A-League champions Brisbane Roar on Feb 5.
The Malaysians are preparing for the SEA Games Under-23 competition in Myanmar from Dec 11-22. Malaysia are the two-time defending champions.
Datuk K. Rajagopal was the coach when Malaysia triumphed in Laos in 2009. Kim Swee was at the helm when Malaysia defeated hosts Indonesia in the 2011 Games.
“My main focus is on retaining the SEA Games gold. It is important to follow through our programme, especially this playing tour of Australia,” said Kim Swee.
After their stint Down Under, the Malaysians will undergo a five-month training stint in Slovakia from March until August where they are expected to play 15 friendlies.
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