NATIONAL juniors coach K. Dharmaraj has set his eyes on the Sultan of Johor Cup title, as he finally has his full squad for the assault at the Taman Daya Stadium from Sept 22-29.
Malaysia were the inaugural champions in 2011, but ended at the bottom last year, and with the Junior World Cup just around the corner, Dharmaraj wants the title as an early boost.
Malaysia are in Group D of the Junior World Cup, in New Delhi from Dec 6-15, together with Pakistan, England and South Africa.
And in Johor, the other five teams are England, Pakistan, India, Argentina and South Korea.
“I believe with the inclusion of the four players who were with the senior side, the team has the potential to win the title again.
“And with England and Pakistan in our World Cup group, it is time we win morale boosters on home soil,” said Dharmaraj.
South Africa were also supposed to play in Johor, but pulled out due to lack of funds.
The four who played in the Asia Cup with the senior side and will be back with Dharmaraj are Fitri Saari, Faiz Jali Helmi, Izad Hakimi and Firhan Ashaari.
And even though Malaysia will parade their best available, India and Pakistan are expected to be the teams to beat.
“Looking at the team list, Pakistan will be fielding the same side which we beat in the final of the Junior Asia Cup, while India also have many players who have seen action at the senior side in recent major tournaments.
“But that is the challenge we gladly accept, because my players need to beat both this two teams to prepare for the Junior World Cup semi-finals target,” said Dharmaraj.