The Young Tigers coach could run into conflict with National Team coach Datuk K. Rajagopal.
Harimau Muda coach Ong Kim Swee has stressed the importance of having a full squad available to him for the SEA Games.
The Young Tigers could have six key players absent for the tournament, which begins on December 11 in Naypyidaw, the capital city of Burma, should they be called up to the senior Malaysia squad.
Datuk K. Rajagopal’s men have a friendly scheduled against China in preparation for the crucial 2015 Asian Cup qualifier against Bahrain meaning Ong could be left with a severly depleted roster, despite Former FAM general secretary Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad claiming the priority in 2013 would be the SEA Games.
“It is more important the team be fully prepared for the SEA Games and in doing so I am hoping that I get a full squad for the Merdeka Cup,” Ong stated to Sports247.
“The Merdeka Cup will be my only chance to gather all the players I have and If I don’t do it now I will have to wait until mid-November.
“I will still need to assess the players and playing big matches at the Merdeka Cup will be the ideal place to do so, but if they are missing from the squad I will not know what to expect from them come the SEA Games.
“Both teams (Harimau Muda and national squad) are equally important, they also have a big match (2015 Asian Cup qualifier) coming up and over the next few weeks I will have to sit and discuss in regards to this issue with the coaches and FAM.”
Harimau Muda have recently returned from a four-month stint in Europe, where they contested 22 games.