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Junior hopes JDT move will boost his Malaysia national team hopes

Sarawak FA's midfield dynamo Junior Eldstal has agreed to join Johor Darul Takzim FC for the 2015 season. Photo Credit: Football Association of Singapore.

New Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) recruit Junior Eldstal says that one of his burning desires for 2015 is to regain his place in the Malaysian national side.

The 23-year-old was surprisingly left out of Dollah Salleh's squad for this month's AFF Suzuki Cup.

"Obviously, not getting selected for the AFF Suzuki Cup was a big disappointment, but getting back into that squad will be one of my targets for the coming season, " Junior told ESPN FC. "Playing for a club of JDT's stature definitely means I'll be in the limelight and it will give me more opportunities off the field."

The former Sarawak star shocked the Southeast Asian football fraternity by joining the Southern Tigers after being heavily linked to Selangor since the end of the 2014 Malaysian Super League (MSL) season.

Sources tell ESPN FC that Selangor's delay in finalising the deal for the Sabah-born midfielder opened the door for JDT.

"There was a lot of speculation in regards to my future, but I'm glad it has all been sorted out so I can focus on my football," Junior said. "I can't wait to get started at Johor. When I spoke to Bojan and the TMJ (Crown Prince of Johor), I immediately felt that their ambitions matched mine, and I couldn't wait to put pen to paper."

Junior made 55 appearances for Sarawak over two seasons. After helping them win their first domestic trophy in almost 16 years -- the 2013 Premier League title -- he saw his participation in the Crocodiles' 2014 MSL campaign restricted by injuries.

Born to a Malaysian mother and Swedish father, Eldstal grew up in Europe and the UK, playing for Slimbridge in English non-league football before moving back to Malaysia two years ago.

He has earned three full caps for Malaysia and has played eight times for the U23 side. He was part of the team who won the 2013 Merdeka Cup, scoring a goal in the final against Myanmar.


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