Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Not Much Difference In Current Squad And Gold Medal Winning Team Of 2009 - Rajagobal

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 (Bernama) -- National coach Datuk K. Rajagobal feels there are not much difference between the current National Under-23 squad to the SEA Games in Indonesia and the team that won the gold medal at the Laos SEA Games in 2009.

Rajagobal said the only difference was in the names of the players and their characters on the field.

"When compared with the (U-23) squad under me in 2009, the only different is there are a number of new players called up by coach Ong Kim Swee to play for the first time. Their character when on the field is also different," he told Bernama Friday.

Asked to comment on the inclusion of 19-year-old Muhammad Nazmi Faiz Mansor in the squad, Rajagobal said he was not surprised because every coach would have his own plans and strategy.

"The selection of Nazmi Faiz is the choice of Ong Kim Swee because he is the individual responsible for building the team," he said.

Rajagobal was also optimistic that the team would defend the gold medal although the challenges faced would be different.

Kim Swee had on Wednesday announced the list of 20 players to the SEA Games, including Nazmi Faiz and Yong Kuong Yong while retaining old faces like Baddrol Bakhtiar, Mohd Asraruddin Putra Omar, Mahali Jasuli, Mohd Muslim Ahmad and Ahmad Fakri Saarani.

The team, drawn in Group A, known as the group of death due to the presence of host Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, will face Singapore at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Monday.

In Laos, Malaysia won the gold after beating Vietnam 1-0.


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