‘Apek’ happy to be back with Harimau Malaya


MELAKA, Sept 25 – Melaka United FC goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat said that he is excited to be donning the national jersey again and promised to do his best to secure his place in the final list for the Harimau Malaya’s next matches.

Better known as ‘Apek’, he is one of 24 players called up to Tan Cheng Hoe’s squad for two international friendly matches against Jordan and Uzbekistan early next month in preparation for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 and the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers. .

According to the 32-year-old, the competition for the (goalkeeper) position is very fierce with new names such as Kalamullah Al-Hafiz Mat Rowi and experienced players Khairulazhan Khalid besides Farizal Marlias and Samuel Somerville in the mix.

“As we know, the centralised training camp is the platform for the head coach to test the players and as an initial preparation to form the best Harimau Malaya squad.

“I am also considered new because I have not played for the national squad for a long time and given this opportunity, I will definitely repay the head coach’s trust to be in the main team,” he told reporters here today.

Commenting further, the player from Kota Bharu said the centralised training camp was also an opportunity for him to improve his performance and that he was optimistic that he would be able to convince Cheng Hoe that he can still compete with other the players and is qualified to serve the national team.

“We know this year there are many good goalkeepers in the Malaysian League but I will try my best to be in the Harimau Malaya squad in future tournaments because that is my target,” he said.

Khairul Fahmi, who is still mourning the loss of his beloved mother Bidah Ibrahim due to COVID-19 recently, said the motivation and support given by his late mother always accompanied him throughout his football career and will continue to be remembered.

“Often my late mother prayed for me and always gave her support when she knew I will represent Malaysia, this is the first time I am without her but this is the spirit that I will bring,” he said.

Malaysia will meet Jordan at the King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman on Oct 6 and Uzbekistan at the Amman International Stadium on Oct 9.