PETALING JAYA: There is no such thing as seniors or juniors in the national squad.

National head coach Tan Cheng Hoe said no player is bigger than the team and they must learn to work as a unit and be part of a bigger ‘family’.

He has selected 25 players for centralised training which starts on March 12 to prepare for the Airmarine Cup (March 20 to 23) and the Nepal friendly (March 26).

Cheng Hoe said there would be no special treatment within the squad.

“I have always stressed on good teamwork. These players that I have selected are the best in the country at the moment.

“I know key players like Safawi Rasid and Syahmi Safari have AFC Under-22 qualifying assignment, so we had to look at others who are performing well in the league.

“I hope to see the new players adapting to the team and play to our philosophy. I do not want the AFF Suzuki Cup playing momentum to stop,” said the former national player.

In the Suzuki Cup final, Malaysia finished as runners-up to Vietnam.

Seven players – Nor Azam Azih, Matthew Davies (Pahang), Abdul Latiff Suhaimi (Selangor), Hadin Azman (Felda United), Ifwat Akmal Chek Kassim, Rizal Ghazali (Kedah) and S. Kumaahran (Johor Darul Ta’zim II) – are making a return to the team.

Cheng Hoe have also retained 13 players from the AFF Suzuki Cup squad and added five new faces.

They are Faiz Nasir, Abdul Halim Shaari (Selangor), Firdaus Saiyadi (Perak), Nicholas Swirad (PKNS) and Hafiz Ramdan (PKNP).

“I spoke with their respective coaches and they gave me good feedback.

“Discipline is essential and they have shown that in the league matches,” added Cheng Hoe.

“That’s why I decided to give these players a chance to don the national jersey. I am also happy to have Nor Azam and Kumaahran in the squad.

“Nor Azam was a regular for the national team but was not fully fit for the Suzuki Cup.

“I have been following Kumaahran since his Under-22 days and I always rated him as an impressive player.

“Last year, he was out for a season with Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).”

Source from:- The Star