Faisal Halim may be just 22 but he is expected to play a big role for Pahang as one of the seniors in the team in the Super League.
The Penang-born Faisal is in his fifth year with Pahang and with the departure of several seasoned stalwarts from the club, he is expected to feature regularly in the team.
Coach Dollah Salleh has big plans for the 1.58m tall player and Faisal said he is ready to shoulder the responsibility.
“I’ve been in Pahang for four years, and this will be my fifth year in Kuantan. I have been used as a super sub in most seasons, but this season, I have been told to get ready for more first-team action, ” said the chirpy player.
“Coach Dollah knows me well, and I know what he wants. It is easy to work with him, and I will do my best to ensure that I repay his faith.
“I may be small but I’m brave to face any players. My small stature is not an obstacle. I cannot wait for the season to start.”
Although optimistic ahead of the new season, he did rue the departures of Lazarus Kaimbi, Saddil Ramdani, Wan Zaharulnizam Wan Zakaria, R. Kogileswaran and Safuwan Baharuddin, as they were assets to the team last season.
The departure of Safuwan is undoubtedly felt by Faisal, as he deemed the Singaporean international as the best Asean player in the league.
“It will be tough to find someone like Safuwan. It’s not easy to look for a player that is willing to play in any position.
“It is never going to be easy, replacing Safuwan.”
With the inclusion of several boys from the Pahang President Cup team, and also new foreigners, who are yet to be finalised, Faisal said he had no problems to complement with all the newbies in the team.
“Every year, there are changes, and we have to adapt quickly. Every new player is accepted as part of the family.
“I have played as an attacking midfielder, striker and winger with my club. I would love to play as winger and striker, but I am a coach’s player – I will follow their tactical instructions, so I’m game for any position.
Faisal aimed to score at least 10 goals, and also earn regular playing time to earn a spot in the national team.
“Now that I will get more minutes, I can aim for double digits. Also, I want to enhance the team through my assists and all-round contribution to the side.
“I came here five years ago. The people here have accepted me as one of their own. It’s time to repay their love and faith in me by scoring goals.”