Kuala Lumpur (28 May, 2016): The Nations Cup 2016 means so much for attacking midfielder M. Kogileswaran who received a late call for national training four days ago but a twist of luck has kept him on the sideline.
The 17-year-old is reported to have suffered a hamstring injury in training and is now hoping for a quick divine intervention before head coach Frank Bernhardt names the squad on Sunday.
“It will be my first international tournament after missing out on action in the Super League for Pahang. I have been playing in friendly matches since January and the Nations Cup call-up for training gave me so much hope,” said Kogileswaran.
Kogi, as he is fondly known by teammates, was restricted from playing for Pahang in the Super League for six months by the FA of Malaysia Status Committee following a tussle between the Pahang FA and Frenz United. He is only eligible to play once the transfer window opens next month.
“I really want to play in the Under-21 tournament. My spirit is very high,” said the former Harimau Muda C player. “I pray hard to be in the final selection. I like it very much here,” he added.
Kogileswaran and Pahang Super League teammate R. Dinesh joined English Premier League side Watford for a month-long training in March. However, the youngster will know his fate tomorrow when Bernhardt names his squad of 27 players for the Nations Cup 2016 which will be held on June 3 & 5 at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Malacca.
Organised by the FA of Malaysia and promoted by leading sports agency MP & Silva, the first edition of the Nations Cup will 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 June 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 during Premier League match days. More details are available at www.nationscup.asia.