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 Sports

Gerald makes the cut

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IN THE FINAL 23 … Sabah's Gerald (left), in action for the Malaysia U-19 squad during a friendly match against the Thailand U-19 squad.

8th June, 2018

By UMESH RAJAN

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s Gerald Gadit’s hard work has paid off as he was successfully selected into Malaysia’s Under-19 squad for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U-19 Cup to be held in Indonesia from June 29 to July 15.

The state’s President’s Cup defender who hails from Tenom impressed national U-19 head coach, Bojan Hodak during the national trials and centralised training camp on May 20.

As soon as the centralised training at Wisma FAM, Kuala Lumpur including a boot camp at Thailand from May 30 to June 4 ended, Gerald was among the 23 players selected out of 27 who participated in the trials.

When contacted on Thursday, Gerald was delighted and honoured to be selected into the national U-19 squad for the championship yet nervous about his prospect of playing in Indonesia.

“I had a feeling that I would be selected for the national team after the trials ended, but upon receiving the official list, I was quite nervous because this is my first international tournament.

“I am not sure whether I will be included into the team’s first eleven because I have a lot more to learn and gather experience, but if given the chance to play, I will do my best to perform for Malaysia in the AFF U-19 Cup,” he said.

Gerald made two first-team appearances out of three for Malaysia U-19 friendly matches played during their boot camp in Thailand where he also made a second-half appearance in the third match.

Meanwhile, President’s Cup head coach, Johnny Dominicus was not surprised when he received the news that Gerald got selected for the national team as he expected it.

“Gerald is one of those complete package footballers and it was not a surprise that Bojan took a liking for him as players like him surely will impress any coach out there.

“He is a fighter on the field, a defender with pace and discipline as we all know, and these types of players are able to go far into another level throughout their career and locally.

“We have seen his character since playing for Sabah’s U-19 squad under Jelius Ating.

“He has been playing consistently this season for both the President’s Cup and also Under-19 squads, and I believe by playing for both teams, Gerald can improve himself at an even faster rate,” he said.

Johnny added that Gerald’s achievement in getting selected for the national team will be a personal morale boost for the player as well as a proud moment for Sabah.

“He has become a role model for a lot of local junior players here by adding motivation for them to strive harder in order to follow his footsteps.

“The exposure of playing for the national team will surely open Gerald’s eyes to another level of football and his experience from it will be an asset for Sabah in the future.

“I hope he will take this opportunity of a lifetime to learn and expose himself positively to develop into a better footballer as well as being a motivation for other players to follow his footsteps,” he said.

   
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