PETALING JAYA: The national football team will, for the first time, have a full-time psychologist and masseur.
Newly appointed national coach B. Sathianathan said the FA of Malaysia (FAM) have asked for help from the National Sports Institute (ISN) in their bid to adopt a more professional approach in their build-up for the pre-World Cup campaign next month and the Korat SEA Games in December.
“We will make full use of the ISN as an auxiliary service to the national football team,” said Sathianathan yesterday.
He said other technical expertises provided by the ISN include a full-time fitness trainer and nutrition-cum-diet expert while the FAM has their own team of physiotherapists.
The new support team from ISN would report to duty with the national team, which will assemble for the first phase of training at the Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya from Sept 17-23.
They would also be on board the flight to Perth, Australia scheduled from Sept 24 to Oct 10.
“This is the first time we are requesting for a full time psychologist and masseur for the national team. It is important we have them on board all the time during our practice sessions and friendly matches. We have to be well equipped in all aspects of the game – be it mental or physical – if we are going to excel,” said Sathianathan.
Malaysia will play Bahrain in the first-leg of the pre-World Cup campaign away on Oct 21 and the return-leg is scheduled on Oct 28 in Kuala Lumpur.
The national Under-23 squad will form the core of the new national team and they will have four senior players for the World Cup qualifiers.
After that, the Under-23 squad will get cracking for the SEA Games in Korat, which they have aimed for the gold medal, which they last won in 1989.