Luqman Hakim to join centralised training camp

The development will see the Kota Baru-born player to join forces with Wan Ahmad Kuzri for the 1st time

THE country’s sensational young forward, Luqman Hakim Shamsudin, has been listed to join the national Under-19 (U-19) squad’s Phase Two centralised training camp for four weeks starting next Monday.

The development will see the Kota Baru-born player, who is expected to complete his move to Belgian professional club KV Kortrijk, to join forces with US-based player Wan Ahmad Kuzri Wan Ahmad Kamal for the first time.

According to a statement from the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) yesterday, the Australian-born head coach Brad Maloney had listed the two players for the Phase Two centralised training camp session.

After conducting Phase One of the centralised training camp for three weeks ended last Sunday, Maloney retained 26 players from a list of 35 players for continued evaluation.

“Maloney is still in the process of evaluating the players before continuing to the Phase Three centralised training camp in September 2020 to select the final list of 23 players who will be going to Uzbekistan,” the FAM statement said.

Luqman Hakim, along with several key players including Harith Haiqal Adam Afkar and Muhammad Mukhairi Ajmal Mahadi, were previously sidelined and would only join the team at the next centralised training camps (Phase Two and Three).

Apart from Luqman Hakim, two other new players, goalkeeper Ahmad Irfan Ibrahim (Terengganu FC) and midfielder Ziad Al Basheer Norhisham (Mokhtar Dahari Football Academy [AMD] U-17), as well as Syahmi Adib Haikal Mohd Shukri (AMD U-17), who joined the team in the last week of the Phase One centralised training camp.

In the final round in Uzbekistan, Malaysia will be opening the curtain in Group D against Tajikistan on Oct 16, followed by the second match against 2014 former champion Qatar on Oct 19, and the final match against Yemen on Oct 22.

The four teams that make it to the semi-finals would automatically qualify for the U-20 World Cup in 2021. The national U-19 squad aims to emerge as the first Malaysian team to qualify on merit to the World Cup stage. — Bernama