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Malaysia include uncapped trio in training squad

Malaysia and Vietnam, the last two winners of the AFF Suzuki Cup, meet in a friendly on Tuesday (September 11) with players hoping to catch the eye of their respective coaches ahead of November’s tournament.

K. Rajagobal, who led Malaysia to their first Asean title two years ago, has called up in-form winger Christie Jayaseelan, midfielder Abdul Shukor Jusoh and goalkeeper Zamir Selamat – all of them uncapped - in a 25-man squad for the home match with the 2008 champions.

“I have seen all these players in the league. Now I want to see how they cope at the international level,” said Rajagobal after naming the squad.

Christie has impressed with his wing play for Premier League champions Armed Forces this season and is determined to book a place in the national squad for the AFF Suzuki Cup.

“It is every footballer’s dream to don national colours. I have worked hard and my persistence has finally paid off - even in this late period of my football career. I am no quitter and will fight till the end for a place in the national team,” said the 26-year-old Christie, who scored eight goals for Forces last season.

Striker Safee Sali, top scorer at the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup with five goals, is expected to lead the line for Malaysia on Tuesday.

Malaysia beat Vietnam in the last four of the AFF Suzuki Cup two years ago, a loss that led to the departure of Portuguese coach Henrique Calisto, and Rajagobal is expecting they will have revenge on their minds. “Whoever we play, they are going to be determined to beat us. We are the Asean champions and every team will be going all out against us. Vietnam will be no different when we play them,” he said recently.

The defending champions have been drawn in Group B of the AFF Suzuki Cup and will meet 2010 runners-up Indonesia, three-time champions Singapore and the second-placed team from a qualifying tournament involving Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Timor Leste.

Vietnam take on hosts Thailand, the Philippines, semi-finalists in 2010, in Group A and the leading qualifier.

Malaysia squad versus Vietnam:
Goalkeepers: Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Kelantan), Farizal Marlias (Negri Sembilan), Zamir Selamat (Johor FC)
Defenders: Amirizwan Taj Tajuddin, Aidil Zafuan, Azmi Muslim (all ATM), Mahalli Jasuli, Fadhli Shas (both Harimau Muda), Bunyamin Umar (Selangor), Faizal Muhammad, Zubir Azmi (both Terengganu), S. Subramaniam (Kelantan)
Midfielders: D. Christie Jayaseelan (ATM), Gary Robbat, Wan Zack Haikal (both Harimau Muda), Azamuddin Akil (Pahang), Safiq Rahim (Selangor), Shakir Shaari (Kelantan), S. Kunanlan (Negri Sembilan), Abdul Shukor Jusoh (Terengganu)
Forwards: Zaquan Adha (ATM), Ahmad Shakir Ali (Negri Sembilan), Khyril Muhymeen Zambri (Kedah), Safee Sali (Pelita Jaya), Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Kelantan)