In the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup, there have been a number of surprise names that appeared on the nations’ squad lists, but there have been a few surprise exclusions as well.
With the sport continuously growing and young players trying to continuously break into the first team, there will always be veterans that will not be called up and here are five of those who are not joining the AFF Suzuki Cup.
SHAHDAN SULAIMAN – SINGAPORE
Sulaiman was one of the handful of names not included in the list alongside Hafiz Sujad and Sahil Suhaimi.
However, Sulaiman gets the nod as the his veteran presence could have been maximised in the AFF Suzuki Cup. At 30 years old, the midfielder has had a lot of experience, in fact he’s already eclipsed the half-century mark in international caps with 55. He has scored three times in his international career.
The Lions made disappointing exits in the past two AFF Suzuki Cups and Sulaiman could have been given another shot to help the team this time around.
TRISTAN DO – THAILAND
The War Elephants are trying to defend their title this year and become the only nation to win it for three-consecutive campaigns.
However, they’re going to do it without their Thai-French international Tristan Do. The defender has had 24 international caps for Thailand so far, with the right-back still waiting to score his first goal for the team.
Two years ago, Do was part of the trophy-winning squad and with Thailand filled with overseas-born stars in the defensive end this year, he failed to win a spot in the team.
It should also be noted that the War Elephants are missing a number of players expected to make it to the team, including names like Kroekrit Thaweekarn and Teerasil Dangda.
ZULHAM ZAMRUN – INDONESIA
A scoring threat for Indonesia two years ago, Zulham Zamrun is another name that did not feature in the 2018 list for his country.
The 30-year-old has made 27 appearances for Indonesia through his career and has scored five goals.
Despite a barren 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup campaign, Zamrun scored two goals in the 2014 edition.
Along with Zamrun, Kurnia Meiga and former skipper Boaz Solossa are also surprise exclusions in the Indonesian squad.
CHRENG POLROTH – CAMBODIA
With squads normally choosing young players to help them develop and improve in the international leve, Chreng Polroth was a surprise exclusion in the Cambodian squad.
He was part of the team two years ago when he was just 19 years old and already has 23 international caps to his name but failed to make it to the team.
With the midfielder missing out, he joins players like goalkeeper Sou Yaty who were present in 2016 but not in this year’s event.
MATTHEW DAVIES – MALAYSIA
Matthew Davies was born in Perth, Australia but represents Malaysia in the international stage. He was featured in the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup but is one of the excluded names in this year’s competition.
The right back is only 23 years old and has 17 international caps for the country. In 2016, he was unable to help the Malaysians move beyond the group stages and as the Malaysian squad hopes to advance this rime, Davies won’t be around.
Along with the player from Pahang, Malaysia are without players like Baddrol Bakhtiar, and veteran Safee Sali.