FAISAL LIV­ING HIS DREAM

Un­her­alded left-back wins Dol­lah’s trust, set for FA Cup fi­nal against Kedah

New Straits Times - - Sport - T.N.ALAGESH alagesh@nst.com.my

AVIRTUAL un­known in Malaysian foot­ball, Faisal Rosli has proven to be an ex­cel­lent tal­ent which has seen him se­cure a reg­u­lar berth in the new look star-stud­ded Pa­hang side this year.

When Romp­in­born Faisal was pro­moted from Shahzan Muda in 2013, the 26-yearold left-back found him­self strug­gling to break into the first team due to the pres­ence of sev­eral ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers.

Last year when Pa­hang re­leased more than a dozen key play­ers, Faisal was out­shone by the ex­pe­ri­enced Shahrizan Salleh and this year, no one gave him a chance as Pa­hang had se­cured the ser­vices of for­mer in­ter­na­tional Zubir Azmi.

How­ever, Faisal has been liv­ing his dream as he man­aged to prove him­self to Dol­lah Salleh and the head coach has picked the hard­work­ing player as his pre­ferred left-back, start­ing ev­ery match in the Su­per League and FA Cup this year.

The fa­ther-oftwo, who was left on the bench dur­ing Pa­hang’s 2013 Malaysia Cup tri­umph and was not picked dur­ing the 2014 FA Cup fi­nal when Pa­hang beat Felda United, said he was ex­cited over the prospect of fea­tur­ing in his first ma­jor cup fi­nal against Kedah to­mor­row.

“It has been a long story in my foot­ball ca­reer. I used to play part-time with a team in Rompin while work­ing as a site su­per­vi­sor be­fore Ta­jud­din Nor (Shahzan Muda coach) spot­ted my tal­ent and of­fered me a chance in the FAM league.

“Dol­lah Salleh (dur­ing his first stint) pro­moted me to Pa­hang in 2013 and I fea­tured oc­ca­sion­ally over the past four years. It is a spe­cial feel­ing to be part of the coach’s plan for ev­ery match and play­ing reg­u­larly this year,” he told Time­s­port yes­ter­day.

Faisal said train­ing and play­ing along­side some ex­pe­ri­enced de­fend­ers in­clud­ing Raz­man Roslan (now with Se­lan­gor) and Damion Ste­wart over the last few years helped im­prove his game and tech­niques.

It is a spe­cial feel­ing to be part of the coach’s plan for ev­ery match and play­ing reg­u­larly this year.

FAISAL ROSLI

Pa­hang left-back

PIC BY NAZIRUL ROSELAN

Pa­hang play­ers share a light mo­ment prior to a train­ing ses­sion at the Te­mer­loh Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

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