SARAWAK footballer Ashri Chuchu will make his international football debut when he represents Malaysia on the wing against Syria during an Olympic qualifier in Amman, Jordan this Wednesday.
Okay so Malaysia will still not qualify for the Olympics no matter what happens, but what a great opportunity for Ashri to shine on an international stage!
National youth coach Ong Kim Swee said he would use Ashri, along with Sabah forward Rozaimi Abdul Rahman and Young Tigers A goalkeeper Izham Tarmizi Roslan, to prepare for the AFC Under-22 Championship qualifiers in June.
So if our boy does well on Wednesday, he will still get to play for Malaysia during the AFC championship.
The 21-year-old has certainly earned a spot on the national squad after scoring nine goals in Sarawak’s promotion campaign last year and playing a dominant role in play this year, including scoring once in the Super League.
Ashri has said he wants to emulate his idol the late football icon Mokhtar Dahari and become one of the best attacking midfielders in Malaysia.
The media has called him one of the best in the Malaysian Super League with darting runs along the flanks that stun opponents.
Wednesday’s match is a great opportunity for the midfielder from Kampung Luagan, Sundar in Lawas.
Let’s hope nerves don’t get the better of him and he shows the strong skills he has demonstrated for Sarawak.
All the best Ashri. Now’s your time to shine.
The report from New Straits Times:
East Malaysian duo get crack at big time
By Devinder Singh
TWO youngsters from Sabah and Sarawak are set to make their international debut as national youth coach Ong Kim Swee rang the changes for Malaysia’s final Olympic qualifier against Syria in Amman, Jordan on Wednesday.
With Malaysia’s qualifying chances long gone, Kim Swee has taken the opportunity to blood new players in the last two games against Bahrain and Japan and will continue that tact against the Syrians, who need to win to pip Japan to the automatic slot to London from Group C.
Kim Swee said he intends to use several young players against Syria including Sabah forward Rozaimi Abdul Rahman, Sarawak winger Ashri Chu Chu and Young Tigers A goalkeeper Izham Tarmizi Roslan as preparation for the AFC Under-22 Championship qualifiers in June.
“We have a few players out injured and one suspended so it will give me the chance to test several others. I may field Izham though I still want to take Khairul Fahmi (Che Mat) with us.
“They still need time to form an understanding with the regular players in the team but I’ve seen positive signs in the new players and this augurs well for the AFC Under-22 qualifiers,” said Kim Swee after watching his Olympic side beat Armed Forces 4-2 in a friendly match at Wisma FAM on Saturday.
Injuries have ruled out midfielder Gary Steven Robbat and striker A. Thamil Arasu while winger Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor is suspended.
Other mainstays of the Olympic team including Muslim Ahmad and K. Gurusamy have been left out as they are not eligible for the AFC Under-22 tournament.
Instead, Rozaimi earned his call up after impressing by scoring twice for Sabah in the Super League while Ashri, 21, bagged nine goals in Sarawak’s promotion campaign last year and has scored once in the Super League this year.
Malaysia have lost all five of their third round matches in Group C and suffered a 2-0 defeat to Syria in Bukit Jalil on Nov 23, just two days after winning Sea Games gold in Jakarta.
In Friday’s friendly, D. Saarvindran scored twice in the second half after
Fandi Othman’s penalty and a fine strike by Azrif Nasrulhaq Badrul Hisham gave the Olympic team a 2-1 lead.
Aidil Zaquan Radzak, with a deflected free-kick, and A. Varathan were on target for Premier League leaders Forces.
A report from The Borneo Post:
SuperMokh inspires Ashri Chuchu
by Matthew T Umpang
KUCHING: Sarawak’s rising star in football Ashri Chuchu has indicated that he wants to emulate his idol, the late football icon Mokhtar Dahari, to be the one of the best attacking midfielders in Malaysia.
“The legendary Mokhtar Dahari has been my hero since I started playing football. He is the source of my inspiration and I aspire to be highly regarded just like him. The national call-up gave me the motivation to step up my game for Sarawak and hopefully for the nation. This is the best opportunity to learn and play with the best in Malaysia and a platform for me to achieve my dream,” informed Ashri to The Borneo Post.
“Mokhtar is simply superb and irreplaceable. Every Malaysian player admire him and every Malaysian adore him,” he added.
Ashri has earned his first national call up from Olympic coach Ong Kim Swee and he flew to Kuala Lumpur yesterday to meet up with the rest of the national squad and attend centralised training. He has been regarded as the best crosser in the Malaysian Super League and his darting runs along the flanks has opponents at wits as to how to neutralise the menace.
“I must thank Datu Sudarsono Osman, the president of FAS for his guidance and helping me to develop as a football player. With the opportunity given to me to play with the national team, I will do my best to make Sarawak proud and to get a place in Malaysia’s first eleven. I aim to do well playing for Malaysia,” said the 21-year old player.
Sarawak head coach Robert Alberts said that every player who works hard deserves a reward.
“Ashri is a player who really gives it all for the team. If the national team coach comes knocking at your door, it means that you are doing the right thing. Now I want Ashri to do his stuff and show Ong that he was right to have given him the call-up,” he added.
The Dutchman however said that it is important that Ashri does not get carried away by the call up. Ashri still have a lot more to learn as he is still of young age.
“In Malaysia I have seen so many promising players rise up the ranks, but many of these players also declined rapidly. I do not want that to happen to our Ashri here so he has to be aware of the circumstances that awaits him,” advised Alberts.
He pointed out that it is important that football talents get noticed at a young age.
Ashri rose through the ranks from being just a young school-boy at SMK Tabuan Jaya sports school to the Sarawak first eleven in a relatively short time. Ashri, who is originally from Lawas, have so far scored one goal for Sarawak which is the winner against Felda United last Feb 11. He has also contributed a number of important goal scoring assists for the team.