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Luqman, Wan Kuzri boost for Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's preparations for the AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020 have been boosted by the presence of Belgium-bound Luqman Hakim Shamsudin and United States-based Wan Kuzri Wan Kamal in the training squad.

The Malaysian squad assembled for centralised training on Monday for Uzbekistan 2020 and head coach Brad Maloney was glad to see Luqman and Wan Kuzri among the trainees.

Luqman had missed the first phase of centralised training and Maloney welcomed his availability.

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"To my understanding, Luqman has an agreement with his Belgian club (KV Kortrijk). The forward will be available for the AFC Under-19 Championship," said Maloney to local media.

"I am excited to see Luqman and midfielder Wan Kuzri (pictured below) in the team. It opens up a lot of possibilities for us.

Luqman, 18, is confident of earning a spot in the final squad.

"However, I am not taking things for granted. I will still give my 100 per cent in training to impress the coaches," said Luqman, who is expected to finalise his move to Belgian Division 1 side KV Kortrijk in the coming days.

Wan Kuzri, 18, and brother Wan Kuzain, meanwhile, play for Major League Soccer club Sporting Kansas City's reserve team.

Malaysia are in Group D of the AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020 and open their campaign against Tajikistan on October 16. They face 2014 champions Qatar on Oct 19, and complete their preliminary round campaign against Yemen three days later.

Malaysia are aiming to finish among the top four teams at Uzbekistan 2020, which will earn them a spot in the FIFA U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2021.

The AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020 is scheduled for October 14-31.

Photos: Football Association of Malaysia

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