BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
After Malaysia U22 were held to a goalless draw by Philippines U22 in a friendly on Thursday evening, head coach Frank Bernhardt reiterated his concerns over his plans for his team next year.
"The main problem is the players' fitness as the players are on a break (pre-season). They joined the team with poor fitness and we need to train them again. After 60 or 70 minutes of play, we've had to take them off as they were getting cramps.
"I will not get to assemble my players in January and February as the FIFA calendar for next year only begins in March. Judging by their performance and fitness level tonight, I need time to conduct ample preparations.
"It's not a matter of days or weeks, but at least a number of months. As long as next year's calendar and club decision (to let their players join centralised training) is not there, I'm not so sure. We have made plans, but if we cannot assemble the players, all the planning will not matter," explained the German.
Bernhardt's side will compete in the 2017 SEA Games which Malaysia will host, and he has repeatedly expressed his desire to have his players train together in centralised training for a prolonged time.