When the team arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the flight to Sri Lanka, all attention was undoubtedly at Mohamadou Sumareh. The first naturalised player to play for Malaysia, the expectation on him is understandably very high.
For a player making his first international bow, that is a lot of pressure being heaped on his shoulders but the Pahang attacker is brushing it all aside as part of the job. The Gambian born player feels that he has been made welcomed by the team and that is helping to ease the burden on him.
As a player who predominantly plays on the wide right or left of an attack, Sumareh’s dribbling skills and desire to run at defenders are attributes that get fans on their feet. Thinking along the same lines, Sumareh is not only hoping to make his debut against Sri Lanka on Friday but also want to put on a show for his new team.
“I don’t feel the heat. Everybody welcomed me and was very nice. My first training with the team, I could tell that I could fit in with them if I get a lot fitter. For now, it’s going very smooth. The team has a mixture of young and experienced players.”
“Everyone looks ready and know what they are doing, so it’s easy to fit in. These are the best of the best in Malaysia who are selected. It should be a fun game. I hope to give Malaysia an entertaining game, something nice for the country,” said Sumareh on Wednesday.
His inclusion in the national team comes as part of Dato’ Hamidin bin Mohd Amin’s desire to put in short-term solutions to the national team when he took over as the new president of Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).
Having been stuck in the lower regions of the FIFA rankings and currently the eight best Southeast Asian team in the rankings, FAM’s prerogative will be put to the test with the Sumareh experiment as the Malaysia heads towards the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup.
Follow Goal Malaysia on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
Look who has another new haircut 👀 Pogflash ⚡ Love it or hate it? 👍👎