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Rawilson under Harimau Malaya radar

9th March, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: After making a fine start to the season with the Sabah Rhinos, Rawilson Batuil could find himself a part of the Harimau Malaya squad in the near future.

Rawilson, or Jipun, as he is fondly known among his team-mates and friends, has been awesome for the State side, including in the recent FA Cup second round tie against the star-studded Johor Darul Ta’zim.

And his fine showing could possibly earn his first national call-up.

His dream of playing for the national team could turn into reality if he continues with the good show. The indication is already there, as Jelius Ating revealed yesterday that his captain is now under the radar of Harimau Malaya’s head coach Tan Cheng Hoe.

However, Jelius added, for now, nothing is certain, until Rawilson, who turns 24 on April 29, gets an official call from the FA of Malaysia.

“It is him who could realise this by continuing to play well,” said the Sabah Rhinos head coach. “Yes, he is now under the national team’s radar, but now, it is up to him to prove his worth whether he deserves to be in the national team.

“I have to admit that he has shown a significant improvement in his game, and I hope he will continue to improve because I was made to understand that the coaching staff from the national team will monitor his progress in our upcoming matches,” Jelius said.

For the record, Rawilson, who hails from Kota Marudu, was roped into the senior Sabah side in 2014 from the State Under-21 side.

He was named as captain of the seniors last year when Jelius took over the hot-seat.

He held on to the skipper’s armband until now, and has done exceptionally well in leading the team.

Jelius also revealed that there are several more players that have shown positive improvements in their game. “Among them is our goalkeeper Robson Rendy Rining, who has done well for the team, even though this is the first year he was named as our first choice custodian.

“This has been proven, as he is nominated for the Premier League Best Player Award for February,” he said. “Interestingly, he (Robson) is the only local player nominated for the award,” he added.

He said news about Rawilson being monitored by the national team as well as Robson’s nomination has brought smiles to the team, adding that it has helped spur them to strive harder in training.

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