New Straits Times

Khuzaimi living the dream


during national team training at Pic by Osman Adnan FROM third tier football to the national team in only seven months — Ahmad Khuzaimi Piee is living proof that dreams can become a reality for any player in Malaysia.

Khuzaimi started the season with FAM Cup side Malacca Water Corporatio­n Berhad (SAMB FC) in February before he was recruited by Premier League club Malacca in June.

The defender’s 14 appearance­s for Malacca subsequent­ly earned him a national team callup for next month’s friendly matches.

“What can I say? My story is slightly different than others. I was a lower-league player early this year and now, I am training with the best players in the country,” said Khuzaimi, who reported for centralise­d training at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya on Tuesday.

Khuzaimi, who can play centre-back or leftback, hopes he can emulate Malacca’s football greats Soh Chin Aun, Norhafiz Zamani Misbah and Shukor Adan, who all had successful careers with the national team.

“I am the second Malacca boy to be called up by national coach Ong Kim Swee this year after Khair Jones. I will do my best to impress the coach and hopefully, I will be able to earn my first cap next month.”

Khuzaimi, however, must thank Malacca coach Mat Zan Mat Aris for saving his football career when the trainer secured his release from SAMB FC in June.

The Krubung-born started his career with Malacca’s President’s Cup team, followed by a two-year stint with their senior team in the FAM Cup in 2013 and 2014.

Khuzaimi then signed for three years with PKNS FC in 2015. He only made two appearance­s for the club before he was loaned to SAMB FC early this year.

“I must thank Mat Zan for giving me the opportunit­y. Frankly, I thought my career was finished as players in the FAM Cup rarely get spotted,” Khuzaimi added.

Kim Swee said Khuzaimi has the potential to go far in the game.

“I saw him play for the first time two years ago and I was already quite impressed then with his quality. Although inexperien­ced, he did not show any signs of nerves on the first day of training. He is solid defensivel­y and quick when on the ball,” said Kim Swee. By Ajitpal Singh

 ??  ?? Ahmad Khuzaimi Piee (right) and Fazrul Hazli Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya on Tuesday.
Ahmad Khuzaimi Piee (right) and Fazrul Hazli Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya on Tuesday.

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