By SHAMSHUL FITRI - PETALING JAYA: Playing for 45 minutes in his first international against Saudi Arabia last Sunday has whetted midfielder Mohd Badhri Radzi’s appetite for more action with the national football team.
Although the Kelantan captain saw action for only one half, he gave his all on the field.
“I have to give 100% in training because it is not easy to earn a place in the starting line-up. I have to work extra hard,” said Badhri.
Badhri is among several midfielders in the national squad vying for selection for the Asian Cup qualifying match against Yemen at the Shah Alam Stadium tomorrow.
In the 4-1 loss to the Saudis at the Shah Alam Stadium, national coach Datuk K. Rajagopal started Badhri alongside fellow Kelantan team-mate Shakir Shaari in the middle of the park.
The duo were overwhelmed by the Saudis, who fielded a strong team in the first half. However, Badhri showed glimpses of his ability to help out the defence and attack and his work rate seems to have impressed Rajagopal.
“I’m very thankful for the chance the coach has given me. But I cannot say that I’m satisfied with my performance that night. It was just my first international. There are still a lot that I can give but the coach knows better and I leave it to him. We have many options in midfield and we are all training with a strong sense of camaraderie,” said Badhri.
Rajagopal is keeping his cards close to his chest in picking the midfielders against Yemen. Although captain Safiq Rahim should lay a strong claim to one of the slot, Shakir and the return of K. Gurusamy would make it difficult for Badhri to be in the starting line-up tomorrow.
“I have a lot of options in the midfield. This is healthy as it keeps the players on their toes,” said Rajagopal.
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