MALAYSIA - National Under-22 striker Rozaimi Abdul Rahman of Sabah has won a place in the national senior team for the friendlies against visiting English Premier League sides Arsenal and Manchester City later this month.
The national team are scheduled to play against Arsenal on July 24 and English Premier League champions Manchester City on July 30. Both matches will be played at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil at 9.45pm.
National coach Datuk K. Rajagopal released his 27-player training squad list on Monday and surprised many with the inclusion of Rozaimi.
The Sabahan made heads turn in the recent AFC Under-22 qualifiers in Yangon. He top scored with 10 goals, including netting two hat-tricks, in the qualifying tournament but Malaysia failed to progress to the Finals.
"Rozami has been with me before in the friendly against Sri Lanka in April. I left him out after that to allow him to play for coach Ong Kim Swee’s squad in the AFC Under-22 qualifiers," said Rajagopal. Mohd Safee Sali, who plays for Indonesia’s Pelita Jaya FC, will also attend the centralised training at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya from Monday. The other notable names are Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Ahmad Shakir Ali and rising striker Azamuddin Akil of Premier League side Pahang.
Rajagopal is preparing the team for the defence of the Suzuki Cup Asean Football Federation (AFF) Championships, which Malaysia and Thailand will co-host in November.
The training squad
Goalkeepers: Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Kel), Norazlan Razali (Sel), Mohd Farizal Marlias (Nse)
Defenders: Mohd Asraruddin Putra Omar (Sel), S.Subramaniam (Kel), Muslim Ahmad, Faizal Mohamed (Ter), Mahalli Jasuli, Mohd Fadhli Shas (Harimau Muda A), Mohd Aidil
Zafuan, Amiridzwan Taj Tajudin, Mohd Azmi Muslim (Armed Forces)
Midfielders: Amar Rohidan, Baddrol Bakhtiar, Mohd Khyril Muhymeen (Kedah), Mohd Bunyamin Umar, Safiq Rahim (Sel), Shahurain Abu Samah, S. Kunalan (Nse), Mohd Shakir Ali (Kel), Mohd Ashaari Shamsuddin (Ter)
Forwards: Ahmad Shakir Ali (Nse), Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Kel), Azamuddin Akil (Pah), Rozaimi Abdul Rahman (Sabah), Yong Kuong Kong (Felda United, Mohd Safee Sali (Pelita Jaya FC)
On standby: Mohd Nasril Nourdin (Prk), Mohd Rizal Fahmi Rosid (Kel), Abdul Manaf Mamat, Mazlizam Mohamad (Ter), Gary Steven Robbat (Harimau Muda A)