The National Football team departs for their Oceania Tour tonight and will play three matches against Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Fiji.
The team of 24 players will be initially based in Brisbane and have it all to prove to Malaysian Football critics that they are on the path of redemption.
Below is the thoughts of coach Dato Ong Kim Swee on what the aim of the tour, the targets, the opponents and what he hopes to achieve with the squad in their build up to the AFF Cup in November.
The National Team will be leaving for the Oceania Tour tonight.
Having successfully negotiated our way past Timor Leste, we will next play three matches during our trip to Down Under.
The team will hold training sessions in Brisbane before the play against Papua New Guinea - 193 , New Caledonia and 183, Fiji - 186.
Malaysia will play Papua New Guinea next Friday, New Caledonia on June 22 and Fiji on June 26.
And the three nations are well prepared to play Malaysia after having completed their participation in the Oceania Nations Cup where
Papua New Guinea made the final while Fiji were edged out 1-0 by New Zealand and one must also remember that Fiji have also qualified for the Rio Olympics.
These three teams should rightfully have higher rankings but for their lack of international matches due to their geographical location.
During the 20 day tour I hope to work on rectifying several areas that we lacked in the two matches against Timor Leste.
Upfront on my mind is to build up team work as we had very little time to do that.
Cohesion ,tactical discipline, fitness and creativity is something that I will be emphasising on during the training sessions.
And not forgetting finishing as well as Defence for although we have shown marked improvement it is still not up to the mark required in International matches.
Though some may say we are up against three nations that do not have much success in international Football, we wil treat every team with respect.
Our aim is not only to win the three matches but improve our ability with regards to midfield and strikers but also this will put our Defence under severe scrutiny as we will be up against physically stronger opponents.
I aim to give all players the opportunity to prove their worth and no player is guaranteed his place in the team.
I will also be trying out players in different positions to analyse their versatility as well as have more options from the team perspective.
The door is not closed on players who have not made the squad this time around and the coaching staff will continue to monitor matches in the M-League.
Let's hope that our aims and objectives are achieved and at the sane time appeal to the media, fans and all those involved in Malaysian Football to work together for the success of the team.
The venue for the three matches are Port Moresby, Noumea and Suva respectively.