BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Despite the current exploits of teenage star Luqman Hakim Shamsudin in the AFC U-19 Championship qualification, Malaysia U-22 head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee insisted on seeing more from the 17-year old.
Luqman is currently with Malaysia U-19 at the qualifiers in Cambodia, and after two matches; against the hosts and minnows Brunei, he has bagged five goals already, including a sensational one-touch long-range strike from the centre circle, against Cambodia.
At the same time, he and two other Malaysia U-19 squad members; Harith Haiqal Adam Afkar and Umar Hakeem Suhar Rezwan has been called up by Kim Swee to join the U-22 centralised camp ahead of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in December. The trio will link up with their seniors when the U-19 qualifiers are over, with two matches remaining; against Northern Mariana Islands and regional favourites Thailand.
"It's undeniable that he can score, but it must be noted that his goals came against Cambodia and Brunei. I want to see more, especially when they take on Thailand, only then can I get a better picture.
"...When they (Luqman, Harith and Umar) come back, they still need to win me over in the friendly match that will be played next weekend. Only then they will they go through to the final phase of centralised training," said the former SEA Games gold medal-winning trainer.
On Thursday Kim Swee welcomed the arrival of Malaysia centre back Irfan Zakaria, who would undergo selection to join his squad as one of the two overaged players.
"I chose Irfan because he had been with the junior team for quite some time, and there are still players on the current team who were his teammates back then. I've also said earlier that the defence is my priority when selecting the overaged players.
"I believe that Irfan's arrival will strengthen our defence... especially when he has experience at the international level.
"I will decide on the remaining overaged player after the national team's World Cup qualification match against Indonesia (November 19), with the position depending more on injuries picked up by any of my key players," explained the former Malaysia senior team boss.
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