FAM spurn offers to parachute teens with Malaysian blood into U-19 squad

National Under-19 coach Brad Maloney (Brad Maloney pic)

The FA of Malaysia (FAM) have brushed aside an audacious demand by a UK-based man to give his teenage son, who has Malaysian heritage, an automatic place in the national Under-19 team without having to go through a trial.

He also demanded that his 16-year-old son be exempted from being at a Covid-19 quarantine centre that is mandatory for those coming from abroad.

The affront is among several offers by parents based overseas to include their sons of Malaysian heritage in the squad that is preparing for the Under-20 World Cup next year.

FAM general secretary Stuart Ramalingam, in confirming the offers, said: “We are not interested in bringing any of them for trials as the present U-19 squad has enough talent.”

Ramalingam said unless a player with Malaysian heritage was back here on holidays and if it warranted a look at him, he might be invited for trials during centralised training.

He said the only foreign-based player who attended the first phase of training last week was US-born Wan Kuzri Ewan Ahmad Kamal, a St Louis Football Academy midfielder, whose Malaysian parents are living there.

Brad Maloney training his squad at the Wisma FAM pitch (Brad Maloney pic)

The others who had hoped to make the Malaysian team are the Becheler brothers, Julian Johan, and Joshua Johan, who are of Malaysian-German parentage from Germany.

Julian, 18, a goalkeeper, was signed by Super League champions JDT last year and is expected to be absorbed into the JDTIII squad.

He had a stint with the National U-19 training squad when Bojan Hodak was handling the team, but he did not make the squad as he did not have a Malaysian identity card.

Joshua, 17, is a left back with Rot-Weiss Frankfurt in the Under-17 Hessenliga League.

FAM general secretary Stuart Ramalingam says the national U-19 team has enough depth.

National Under-19 coach Brad John Maloney, who has worked with a pool of 50 players, said while he was not ignoring foreign-based players, no one could demand an automatic place in the final 23.

He said if overseas-based players were brought in, it would be disrespectful to the local players who had shown quality to qualify for the AFC Under-19 championship in Uzbekistan from Oct 14-31.

The top four finishers at the AFC championships will qualify for next year’s Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia.

Malaysia qualified for the tournament when they emerged unbeaten at last year’s qualifier in Cambodia, defeating the hosts, Thailand, Brunei, and Northern Mariana.