DAVIES ON A MISSION
Eyes becoming one of the youngest to lift FA Cup
REPORTS BY DEVINDER SINGH firstname.lastname@example.org
MATTHEW Davies is relishing a chance to become one of the youngest captains to lift the FA Cup trophy should Pahang overcome Kedah in the final at the Shah Alam Stadium today.
The 22-year-old right-back sees no reason why his youth should preclude him from being a team leader and is already the youngest player to skipper a Super League team last year when handed the arm-band by thencoach Razip Ismail.
"It would be an amazing feeling to lift the trophy but I don't want to bring individual spotlight on myself," said Australia-born Davies, one of two naturalised players in the Pahang squad, the other being midfielder Kiko Insa. "It's a team game and any achievement is by the whole team in general.
"If you look at seniority at the team, I've been here for three years and played consistently. I've played over 80 games for the club so in terms of experience in playing for Pahang I don't see why not (be a captain)."
Pahang have been infuriatingly inconsistent this season as their 4-1 defeat to Kedah in a Super League match on Feb 11 would attest, as well as a run of just two wins in their last six matches in all competitions.
"It's been a tale of two seasons, in complete contrast to last year," said Davies, referring to a narrow escape from relegation in 2016. "It's a bit of a shock to be here compared to where we were last year but at the same time a completely new team.
"We've recruited really well and coach Dollah Salleh has done fantastic. I'm not surprised that at this stage of the season with the quality we have in the squad, there's no reason why we can't go on and get the win tomorrow."
Dollah will have new signing Yamil Romero on hand but was coy when asked if the Argentine midfielder will start today.
"He's been with us for two weeks and he has the skill to play high-level football," said Dollah, seeking to add to his solitary FA Cup triumph in 2005 with Selangor.
"His match fitness is a concern but I hope he will be able to do something."
Should Romero play, Nor Azam Azih is expected to make way while winger Christie Jayaseelan
It's a team game and any achievement is by the whole team in general.
is also in the frame to start in place of Wan Zaharulnizam Wan Zakaria.
Dollah also has to decide whether to retain Muslim Ahmad in central defence or restore Afif Amiruddin, who was dropped from the 2-1 semi-final second leg win over Negri Sembilan after an error-filled display in a 3-2 defeat to Kelantan on May 6.
"The final is a different ball game and tomorrow something different will happen," said Dollah in brushing aside his team's performance against Kedah earlier this season.
"This is a new team which I have been a part of for just five months. We struggled earlier in the season with getting the players to work as a team but we are improving with each match and so far so good."
Pahang fans are all smiles after buying their tickets for today’s FA Cup final.