Yesterday was the first time that prodigious forward Luqman Hakim has joined the preparations with the Malaysia Under-19 squad ahead of the eagerly anticipated AFC U19 Championship in Uzbekistan in October,
This is actually the second phase of the training camp after a similar one was held by Brad Maloney and his coaching staff in July where Luqman was among several star names that were missing from the call-up list.
At that time, it was understood that Luqman was needed by Selangor II in preparations for the resumption of the Premier League at the end of August but the situation has since taken off in a different direction.
The 19-year-old could be Belgium-bound in the coming weeks and that could scupper his chances of staying for the entire 1-month duration of this Phase Two training camp, but nothing is certain as yet.
"It’s hard for me to say at this moment (whether he could stay for the full 4-week training). There could be good news coming but I can’t say anything for certain now," said Luqman before the start of the training on Monday.
But the former Mokhtar Dahari Academy prodigy will not be shirking from his duties and until he gets further information, will be putting on his best during training to impress Maloney and will not be taking his spot in the team for granted.
"What people say is their right but I’m not someone who takes things lightly. For me, as a player we have to give 100% and then it’s up to the coach to decide.
"I’m thankful to be able to train with this U19 squad and I’m excited to get this opportunity to adapt to the team and the players.
"I’ve only seen him (Wan Kuzri) play on Youtube and I feel that he’s is a good player. Now is a chance for me to see up close in training and hopefully he can help the team."
Head coach Maloney later confirmed a similar understanding of the situation, which prompted him to include Luqman in the August call-up list, to give the young charge an oppportunity to blend with the squad.
"He’s committed now to his club in Belgium now, I understand. I was told that he probably won’t be playing for Selangor. In that case, it makes sense for him to train with us before he goes to Belgium," explained Maloney.