Football Association of Malaysia (FAM)'s chairman of the Media, Communications and Public Relations Committee, Christopher Raj, has been appointed as the National U-17 team manager.

The appointment was made at the FAM Executive Committee Meeting, chaired by the association's president Hamidin Mohd Amin, at Wisma FAM this morning.

"I am very grateful to Datuk Haji Hamidin Mohd Amin for this opportunity. Our current goal for the National U-17 team is to qualify for the final round of the 2023 AFC U-17 Championshop in Bahrain. That is our first step.

"We all know there is a lot of work to be done but I'm confident we will do it," Raj said after his appointment.

In his new role, Raj has been tasked to find the right coach and backroom staff to lead the U-17 national team.

He has met with Saad Ichalalene, the technical director at the Mokhtar Dahari Academy in Pahang, from which most of the players of the team will be picked. The academy has been awarded a 2-star rating by the AFC Elite Youth Scheme, making it a full-member program.

The coaches will select players from a huge pool of talents born in, or after the year 2006.

"So far, we have identified Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) as potential training destinations in April 2022 to prepare the team for the qualifying rounds," Raj added.

Should they make it past the qualifiers, the final round of the AFC U-17 Championship in Bahrain 2023 awaits them. This will be their golden ticket to qualify for the 2023 World Cup as the AFC representatives.