Three of King’s Lynn Town’s stars have revealed they have a burning ambition to play for their national side – far-flung Malaysia.
Both Jordan Yong, 26, and Michael Clunan, 22, have Malaysian fathers while 26-year-old Sam Gaughran’s grandmother was from the south-east Asian state.
The three are close friends and came through Norwich City’s youth set-up, but it is coincidence they have ended up playing together at the The Walks.
Now the three – called “Team Malaysia” by their teammates – have come to the attention of avid football fans in Malaysia after being featured in an article in the sports website Stadium Astro.
Jordan, said: “It is such a small world, we are all very proud to have Malaysian heritage in us.”
Sam, said: “I don’t remember how we all discovered about each other’s Malaysian side. I think Jordan and I just started speaking about it and it just came out.
“What made it weirder was that both our families were from Kota Kinabalu. It was very similar with Mike; we just somehow talked about it.
“I am very proud of my Malaysian heritage and I have been fascinated with Malaysia since I was seven or eight years old.
“When I visited the country for the first time when I was 15, it felt like I had been there before. Plus, my dad loves cooking especially Malaysian and Asian food, so whenever I go back home I always request for them.”
Jordan explained how they got their moniker: “We are close to each other on and off the pitch. We go out a lot together and speak to each other on our own WhatsApp group chat, which incidentally is named ‘Malaysia’. We have also gotten a bit of banter from the rest of the team because the three of us are always together. In fact, we get called ‘Team Malaysia’ by them all the time.”
Sam Gaughran said team-mates have constantly encouraged them to try representMalaysia. “Our team-mates and the club are very supportive of it.
“They have been asking us to try to get in contact with the FAM and play for Malaysia, which, to be honest, is something I have always wanted to do,” he says.
“My agent and I did try to reach out to lots of people, but nothing ever came of it,”
Jordan tells a similar story, but Sam said: “The gap between non-league teams, such as King’s Lynn Town, and professional sides has gotten very close and is no longer as wide as it used to be.”
“Also, with the influx of foreign players in England, many players get forced down the football pyramid and into non-league football, which has indirectly improved its standards.”