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RUMOUR: Mr. Tan Cheng Hoe to replace Ong Kim Swee as Malaysia U23 head coach

RUMOUR: Mr. Tan Cheng Hoe to replace Ong Kim Swee as Malaysia U23 head coach

Following coach Park Hang Seo and Akira Nishino, Mr. Tan Cheng Hoe may work as Malaysia national football team as well as Malaysia U23 head coach.

Recently, the Football Association of this country (FAM) is considering assigning the Malaysia U23 head coach position for Mr. Tan Cheng Hoe, who is leading the national team.

A source from the Malaysian press revealed that coach Cheng Hoe is considered an ideal candidate to lead the U23  team to replace Ong Kim Swee, who had to leave after the Malayan Tigers was knocked out from the group stage in the SEA Games 30th men's football.

Accordingly, FAM is likely to appoint coach Cheng Hoe as the Malaysia 23 - the case that is quite similar to Vietnamese and Thai football (coach Akira Nishino & Park Hang Seo of the national team and the U23) to develop young football. In another possibility, FAM may hire Asian coaches like Park Hang Seo and Nishino to lead the Malaysia U23 team.

Prior to the above information, FAM Secretary General Stuart Ramalinggam stated that the federation has not yet been in a hurry to search for a replacement for Ong Kim Swee, as  Malaysia U23 does not compete in any tournament next year.

“If you look at other countries, what they are doing is using the coaches to lead both the national team and the U23 team. In the coming year, there are no major tournaments that Malaysia U23 must attend, so FAM still has plenty of time to find the best coach", said Stuart.

RUMOUR: Mr. Tan Cheng Hoe to replace Ong Kim Swee as Malaysia U23 head coach

Meanwhile, FAM Vice President Yusoff Mahadi spoke up about his intention to discuss with coach Cheng Hoe about taking over the U23 team after the second qualifying round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup (AFC). According to this official, FAM has not announced the intention of the federation because coach Tan Cheng Hoe must focus on the goal of helping the national team to compete for the final round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Accordingly, FAM decided to let Australian coach Brad Maloney (currently holding the U19 team)  temporarily lead the U23 team l until the end of June, 2020. The 47-year-old Australian tactician will take over the seat of coach Ong Kim Swee in Malaysia U23's upcoming matches.

Earlier, coach Tan Cheng Hoe had planned for two matches against the UAE and Vietnam in Group G of the second round of the 2022 World Cup next year. Currently, after Malaysia is ranked second in Group G with 9 points, 2 points behind Vietnam after 5 matches.

According to the schedule, the team of coach Cheng Hoe will meet the UAE host (6 points) on March 26th, 2020 and welcome Vietnam (March 31st, 2020). Therefore, the 51-year-old coach asked to organize two friendly matches before the game against the UAE in order to aim the top position of Group G.