“Old horses are needed to stir the young troopers” – Datuk Hamidin on national squad selection

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Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Secretary-General Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin has questioned comments by local football fans who said the national squad is made up of “old horses”.

According to Datuk Hamidin, only 9 out the 26 players listed for the national squad are above 30. So how did the comments about “old horses” come about?

“First of all, I’d like to explain that the selection of the players was not determined by the top management in FAM — as alleged by some — it was a list proposed by the assistant national head coach Tan Cheng Hoe.” Datuk Hamidin clarified in a statement.

“National head coach Nelo Vingada had just arrived on the 23rd of May, and he has not had the time to evaluate the Malaysian players. Therefore, he’s working with Cheng Hoe’s selection.”

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“And now, only 9 out the 26 players listed for the national squad are above 30. 17 other players are under the age of 30, seven players are within the age of 22 to 25, and 10 players are within the age of 26 to 29. So what do you mean by old horses?”

“Anyway, sometimes we need the old horses to stir the young troopers.” Datuk Hamidin added.

Datuk Hamidin also noted that Nelo Vingada is a coach who favours young players. In fact, Vingada has said that he will monitor players from Project SEA Games 2017 U-22 squad to be integrated into the national squad in the future.

But as of now, he will work with what has been given to him. Vingada’s first task is to prep the national team for their 2019 Asian Cup qualifier match against Lebanon on June 13.

After the match against Lebanon, Vingada will reassess the players and change them accordingly.

“Rest assured that for the next international matches in September onwards, the line-up and list of players will be different.” Datuk Hamidin concluded.