Football Association of Maldives (FAM)’s Head of Sports Physician and Senior Vice President, Mohamed Shakeeb said that the team had begun training for the Asian Cup Qualifying match against Palestine, with no injuries.
Shakeeb said that although there would be differences in fitness levels among the players due to the ongoing league tournament, all the players are fit.
While the squad of 29 began training on Sunday, all players participated in the training except for TC’s Hassan Naaiz (Dhaadhu), who was held back due to fever.
Prior to the training, FAM’s President Bassam Adeel Jaleel encouraged the team to win the match.
Head coach, Darren Stewart selected young players and four goalkeepers for the squad.
The most number of players, 9, selected for the national team are from Maziya. New Radiant, TC, Valencia and Eagles all had four players selected while two players were selected from both Victory and Green Street.
Two keepers from Valencia, Mohamed Faisal and Tholal Hassan, made the squad while the other two keepers, Mohamed Shafiu and Mohamed Imran, came from Eagles and Victory respectively. The most experienced goalkeeper in the Maldives, Imran Mohamed, had expressed no desire to join the national team with his retirement after 17 years with the national team.
Three players lost their opportunity to join the team due to injury. They are former captain Ali Ashfaq (Dhangadey), Ahmed Naashid (Naatey) and Ahmed Rizwan (Rizey), both from Eagles.
The squad welcomed six new faces this year. Namely; Ibrahim Mahudhy (Feydhoo Ibbe) who played an important role in TC’s win in the Sheikh Kamal International Golden Club Cup, Mohamed Azzaam, Ibrahim Waheed Hassan (Ibbe), Rihaam Abdul Ghanee (Bobby) from Eagles and Ahmed Nizam and Mohamed Shaaif from Green Street.