2002 KL World Cup: MALAYSIAN skipper Mirnawan Nawawi is ecstatic after scoring his team's third goal off Chua Boon Huat's (left) pass against India in the World Cup in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. Malaysia won 3-2. - Photo: Vino John.
CHUA Boon Huat, 29, will be heading for Austria on Wednesday to play in their league, but is unsure if he will be selected for the World Cup Qualifiers in New Zealand on Nov 7-15.
Age, according to Chua who was supposed to play in the New Zealand league earlier, does not favour his selection, as younger players are snapping at his heels.
“I will be playing two matches in Austria together with Sallehin Ghani, and we will return in time for the Hari Raya celebrations.
“After that, we will head for Austria again in early October and return by the 12th to rejoin national training.
“However, I am not too sure about securing a place in the NZ Qualifier, as many talented young players are in the training pool now,” said Chua.
Chua was not selected to go on the recent New Zealand and Australia Tours, but his stint in Austria will be a valuable experience irrespective if he is selected for the Qualifier or not.
Malaysia will open accounts against Austria on Nov 7 in the Qualifiers, and not much is known about their playing capabilities.
“There is only one Division in Austria, and so one can expect all the national players to turn out for their clubs and it will give me some information on their playing style, and it will be helpful, provided I am selected for the Qualifier,” said Chua.
Junior World Cup players Faizal Shaari, Hakim Adnan, Khairul Annuar and Marhan Jalil have started to show progress since being included into the senior side, and at least two of them could be selected for the Qualifier.
The entry of players like Faizal and Marhan, could just sideline the experienced Boon Huat who made a name for himself with a sterling display in the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games where Malaysia won silver medal.