Indonesia’s very own Egy Maulana Vikri has seemingly set himself to play a key role at his new club FK Senica. This was seen from the club’s reluctance of letting Egy go for international duty, only allowing him to join the Indonesia senior national team in their AFC Asian Cup qualifying double-header against Taiwan while barring him from joining up with his Indonesia U-23 teammates for their AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifying campaign. Senica’s reluctance could be a sign that the club is saving Egy for their domestic campaign this season.
Arriving at Senica in September following his release from Polish outfit Lechia Gdansk, Egy has been playing regularly underneath the watchful eyes of manager Pavel Sustr. The SKO Ragunan-graduate has featured in all five matches that Senica had played since his arrival, albeit starting in only one of them. In those five matches Egy has chalked up impressive performances as he bagged himself two assists, one in his debut that led to the winning goal against FK Pohronie in the league, and the other one in the only match that he has started so far, a 3-0 cup win away at Nafta Gbely.
Egy almost made it three assists out of five games in Senica’s last match, a shock 2-1 defeat away at Sered’, however Filip Buchel who received his ball subsequently had his chance saved by the Sered’ goalkeeper.
This string of impressive performances has undoubtedly convinced the Senica higher-ups that Egy could create something special for the club in both the league and the domestic cup this season, which led to them protecting their prized asset as much as they could. This protection, however, includes barring Egy from participating in the U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers with Indonesia U-23.
While Indonesia’s two Asian Cup qualifier matches with Taiwan fell into the FIFA international matchday calendar – meaning that clubs are obligated to release their players should they receive a call-up – the U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers will be played at the end of October, which is not included in the FIFA-mandated international breaks. This means that clubs can freely prevent players from joining their national teams should they feel that said players would play an important role for their clubs during that time.
“Egy will only fly out to Thailand to join the national team for their double-header against Taiwan,” said Egy’s agent Dusan Bogdanovic as quoted from Football5Star, “After that he will return straight back to Slovakia.”
Shin Tae-yong’s Indonesia side will play Taiwan across two matches for a spot in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifying third round on October 7th and 11th. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two matches will be played at a neutral venue, Buriram United’s Chang Arena. The Timnas Garuda will come as favorites in this tie, especially considering that the Taiwan side is undergoing turmoil due to a number of players being caught drinking out late at night in their training camp.
As for Indonesia U-23, they will participate in the qualifiers for the 2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup, being in Group G of the qualifiers alongside continental powerhouses China and Australia. Indonesia were set to host the group however COVID-19 complications saw the group being hosted in Tajikistan instead, with a fourth nation, Brunei Darussalam, withdrawing from the qualifiers due to the pandemic as well.
The Garuda Muda are set to take on Australia U-23 at the Pamir Stadium in Dushanbe on October 27th, before facing-off against China U-23 on October 30th at the same venue.