NATIONAL chief coach K. Dharmaraj made a strong statement to his trainees when he dropped Azzami Abadi from the squad upon landing at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport form the Australian Tour on Sunday night.
Malaysia had lost 5-1, 7-1, 9-0 and 4-2 to the mixed Australian national squad; and drew 3-3 with Australian Institute of Sports.
"I do not want players who waste government funds. Azammi lacked determination and desire and rather than he waste time and money, I dropped him,” said Dharma after the national team’s second friendly match against Canada where they lost 5-4.
“I am sending a clear message to all players, do not feel you are indispensable,” said Dharmaraj ahead of the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh on March 13-23.
With the axing of Azammi, the number of players in the national training squad has been reduced from 35 to 27.
Four players – Azreen Rizal, Engku Malek, Harvinder Singh and Syamim Yusof -- had pulled out earlier.
And six other players are on the crock list – goalkeeper keeper S. Kumar, Nabil Fiqri, Razie Rahim, Roslan Jamaluddin and Kavin Karthik.
Roslan is expected to be named in the Azlan Shah final squad together with Hafizuddin Othman.
Dharma has called up Haziq Samsul, Joel van Huizen, Nor Syafiq Sumantri, Nor Azrul Rahman and Firdaus Omar as attachment players to the training squad.
Two others, Kelvinder Singh and Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi have also been called up to join the training squad and are awaiting for release letters from their employers.
“I will name the final 18 after the two matches against Australia and China in Ipoh on Tuesday,” said Dharmaraj.