Nurridzuan finds renewed hope in Melaka

Melaka’s new winger Nurridzuan Abu Hassan has seen his seen his career go downhill over the past few years but believes his latest coach Zainal Abidin Hassan will be able to help him get back on track.

The 27-year-old made his debut in the Super League with Perak in 2011 and earned a call-up to the Harimau Muda squad from 2012-2014 but his career has been sliding since.

Nurridzuan returned to his home state Perak after the Harimau Muda squad was disbanded in 2015 but could not recapture his old form, no thanks to several niggling injuries that dropped him down the pecking order.

He joined Pahang in 2017, PKNS in 2018 and turned out for Selangor last season but his struggle for form continued as he could only make a handful of appearances.

Nurridzuan said Melaka, who are rebuilding after a massive exodus last season, felt like a project that would work for him.

“Honestly, it had been a struggle for me.

“It is very frustrating when you can’t reach your old form and it’s made worse by injuries … but you have no choice but to pick yourself up and keep moving,” said Nuridzuan yesterday.

“It’s good to train under a coach like Zainal who’s a former international … he understands the struggle footballers go through … besides that everyone starts from zero in this team and get equal chances to show their abilities.”

“I have played in the last two of our friendlies where we beat UKM 2-0 and Negri Sembilan 5-0 … I’m happy with the challenge here and I feel that I’m getting better.”

The Mousedeers will fly off to Bandung in Indonesia today to play a series of matches as preparations for the new Super League season.

They will start with a friendly against League 2 club, PSKC Cimahi at Siliwangi Stadium on Jan 30, Persib Bandung at the Si Jalak Harupat Stadium on Feb 1 before meeting Bandung United at the same venue on Feb 3.

Nurridzuan said the matches in Indonesia will require the players to shift up a gear as their preparation for the new season intensifies.

“I believe the team’s signings are completed so we are starting to increase the intensity of our preparations.

“The matches against the Indonesian clubs will be good for us. They are quality opponents who will be able to push us hard,” he added.

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