Malaysia Premier League teams breathed a collective sigh of relief when the Malaysian Football League (MFL) announced on Wednesday, August 19 that none of them will be relegated to the third tier when the 2020 season ends later this year.
According to MFL, the decision was made due to the fact that the 2020 M3 League had to be abandoned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For Selangor 2 head coach Michael Feichtenbeiner, the decision allowed him more leniency, in that he does not need to worry about securing safety for the reserve team when the Malaysian league resumes later this month.
Several of his players; such as young midfielder Mukhairi Ajmal and foreign striker Bajram Nebihi, have attracted the interest of first team boss B. Satiananthan in their recent friendlies, especially when the Challenge Cup, a competition that reserve teams take part in, will not be played this year.
Mukhairi Ajmal. Photo from Selangor
The German trainer is willing to let his young players, many of them Mokhtar Dahari Academy graduates, join up with the first team, if Satiananthan requires their services.
"...For me, the best players in the country should always play at a higher level. They will dominate if they play against same-age opponents but this is not really [helping], so I believe that if they play against against other Premier League sides and Malaysia Super League teams, those with four, five import players, we will struggle at first...but they will learn a lot. If any of the 18, 19 year old players are outstanding, they must play in the Super League as soon as possible. We want to prepare them for the top tier quickly.
"Satia and I will have to discuss it, but my understanding is that if they can help him, they must play. They must be grateful if he gives them opportunity [to play on the first team]. But if these players, the most talented Selangor players, are only on the bench, they must play on my team. However, this is to be discussed with Satia; if he needs the players, for sure they will go and we'll be happy to send them. The rest of the squad however is to be prepared while remaining on the Premier League team," said the former MPPF FC head coach following his charges' 4-0 friendly win over Malaysia U-19 on Wednesday.
This opportunity to play competitively with the first team is welcomed by Selangor 2 captain Sharul Nazeem Zulpakar.
"I'm willing to fight and work hard for a spot on the Super League team. I am a young player, so I have to prove my mettle to be with the more senior players."