Kuala Lumpur (18 May, 2016): The experience of leading the National Under-22 team in friendly matches against Philippines and Nepal has centreback Mohamad Faris Shah Mohd Rosli yearning for more international experience and achieving success for the national side.
The 21-year-old Kelantan President’s Cup player is looking towards the Nations Cup 2016 at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Malacca on June 3 & 5 as it would be a ‘giant leap’ in his football career.
“It will be an honour to play and lead my team in the Nations Cup. The job of captaining Malaysia against the Philippines and Nepal has been a valuable experience for me,” said Faris, who hails from Kota Baru.
“I am very much hoping to be in the team for the Nations Cup. The selection process is ongoing now and I desire to be part of the national team in Malacca,’ added the former Harimau Muda midfielder who featured in the S-League in 2014/15.
Malaysia’s under-21 head coach, Frank Bernhardt, will announce name his 18-man squad on May 26.
“We are scouting for talented players by watching them in the Premier League and President’s Cup matches,” said Bernhardt, adding that he hopes to have a pool of 50 players in his stable “We will name the Nations Cup squad after looking at some of the players from all leagues in training.”
Regardless, Faris remains optimistic about his team’s chances in the Nations Cup as he believes that Malaysia holds an advantage in their match against Singapore at the Hang Jebat Stadium on June 3.
“Our match against Singapore is going to be tough but we will be ready. We have the advantage because of home-ground and with the Malacca fans behind us, we will be motivated to win,” he said.
He added: “However, I believe that all teams are of the same level and we must put on a great performance. Self- confidence matter the most in this tournament and the moment we step into the pitch, we are playing for the pride of the country.”
Organised by the the FA of Malaysia and promoted by leading sports agency MP & Silva, the first edition of the Nations Cup will take place at Malacca’s Hang Jebat Stadium, and feature Under-21 teams from Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The top two teams will advance to the final on June 5.
Thailand, the 2015 SEA Games gold medallist, take on Vietnam on May 3 (kickoff 4.45pm) followed by the Malaysia and Singapore tie at night (8.45pm).
Tickets will be priced at RM5 for children 12-year-old and below, RM10 for open terrace and RM20 at the Grandstand per match day at Malacca’s Hang Jebat Stadium. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketpro outlets in Klang Valley and Malacca. However, tickets will only go on sale at the Hang Jebat Stadium from 21 May onwards during Premier League match days. More details are available at www.nationscup.asia.