Honeymoon can wait as Safawi gets ready for AFF Cup

05 Dec 2022 09:08pm
Muhammad Safawi was met by the media at the Harimau Malaya squad's central training camp, on Monday. - Bernama Photo
Muhammad Safawi was met by the media at the Harimau Malaya squad's central training camp, on Monday. - Bernama Photo
PETALING JAYA - National winger Muhammad Safawi Rasid and his wife Syifa Melvin are ready to put aside their honeymoon to ensure he will be primed for action in the 2022 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup.

Muhammad Safawi, who tied the knot with actress Syifa on Nov 28, said he is proud to no end with his wife for her approval and for encouraging him to seize a spot in the Harimau Malaya squad for the prestigious regional tournament.

"Thank you everyone for wishing me well (on my wedding), this is added motivation and I am proud to have received the national team call-up. I hope to justify the faith shown in me (if I play) in the AFF Cup,” he said after reporting for today's training session.

Should he get to play in the AFF Cup, Muhammad Safawi, who is also known as Pawi, aims to use the opportunity to see more action after often warming the bench in Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) in the recently-concluded 2022 season.

Commenting on his loan move to Thai club Ratchaburi FC next season, the 25-year-old hopes to regain momentum and help his new club win more honours.

"For me, the Thai football league is more about possession and speed. So, this is probably the best place for me to regain momentum, I don’t want to warm the bench anymore,” said Muhammad Safawi, who will be on loan with Ratchaburi FC for a year.

The Terengganu-born player also reckons that the two Tier 1 internationals against Cambodia on Friday (Dec 9) and the Maldives (Dec 14) are the best platform for the national squad to collect points to get into the top 125 of FIFA rankings.

Meanwhile, newcomer Stuart Wilkin of Sabah FC is also over the moon after getting a call-up from Harimau Malaya head coach Kim Pan Gon and is out to prove his mettle.

"I’ve learned a great deal from Pan Gon in a short time. I’ve attended four training sessions so far but I've already got a clear understanding of the type of football he wants from us as well as my role in the team.
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"For new players, we have to be as open-minded as possible, work hard and listen to all the tactics that he is drilling in us,” said the 24-year-old midfielder.

Only 23 players will make the final squad for the 2022 AFF Cup once Pan Gon finalises his evaluation of the players in the friendlies against Cambodia and Maldives.

Malaysia, who have been drawn in Group B of the AFF Cup, will face Myanmar in Yangon on Dec 21, Laos in Bukit Jalil (Dec 24), Vietnam in Hanoi (Dec 27) and Singapore in Bukit Jalil (Jan 3). - BERNAMA