Kedah striker Syafiq primed for SEA Games, China tour for Malaysia U22

Malaysian Under-22 striker Syafiq Ahmad hopes his aerial prowess will come to the fore on a China tour in preparation for August's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in August.

Datuk Ong Kim Swee's men will play the China U22 team on June 10, followed by practice games against the reserves sides of Guangzhou R&F (June 13) and Guangzhou Evergrande (June 15).

Kedah rising start Syafiq, who has four goals this season, wants to build on his growing reputation if he see game time.

"In Kedah, we start off with a short passing game, and let our opponents tire out," Syafiq told ESPN FC.

"After 65 minutes, when I usually come off the bench, we put in a lot of crosses into the box and I have scored a few with my head already. If I have the chance to play, the mission would be to put one of those crosses into the net."

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Syafiq also knows the quality of teams in the multi-billion Chinese Super League is rising rapidly, including the Guangzhou teams.

"Their league is getting bigger and almost all the teams have plenty of upcoming players. It will be a good test for us against them, and for us to find the chemistry among ourselves," Syafiq said.

"We have just gathered, so every training session is essential if we are to develop a good understanding quickly."

Ong, who replaced German Frank Berhardt to return to the developmental side, has been tasked to deliver a SEA Games football gold medal on home soil.

He has been back with the squad since May 19 ahead of their June 8 departure for China.

The bespectacled national former full-back, who has been replaced by Nelo Vingada as national head coach, will also chart Malaysia's passage at the 2018 AFC 23 qualifiers in July.

Malaysia are in Group H, along with hosts Thailand, Indonesia, and Mongolia.