Sarawak player S. Chanturu (left) is the best local scorer in the league with five goals but was overlooked by national team coach Ong Kim Swee for the up-coming friendly against The Philippines. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: Winger S. Chanturu has vowed to further improve his game after being overlooked by national interim coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee for the friendly against the Philippines in Cebu on Sunday.
Brazilian Paulo Rangel, of Selangor, leads the Super League goalscoring chart with 10 goals, followed by three other foreign players – Johor Darul Ta’zim’s Luciano Figueora and Pahang’s Matias Conti have scored seven goals each while Dickson Nwakaeme, also of Pahang, has six.
Sarawak’s Chanturu is the best among the local hitmen with five goals, the same as Argentinian Juan Arostegui of Armed Forces and Khairul Amri of Singapore Lions XII.
The 26-year-old Chanturu has also had 14 assists in the league despite having played only nine matches. The Crocs are fourth in the 12-team Super League with 22 points after 14 matches.
Chanturu last featured for the national team in 2012, then under the guidance of Datuk K. Rajagopal, before he was sidelined by several niggling injuries.
Kim Swee had explained that he had picked those who were regulars with the national team “because they are used to each other’s game”.
But that hasn’t deterred Chanturu from gunning for a place in the national squad.
“Maybe my five goals are not enough ... maybe I need to do more to be called up to the national team,” he said.
“That is the challenge facing me ... to do better with my team and convince the coach (Kim Swee) to pick me next time. I’m up for the challenge.
“I respect his (Kim Swee’s) decision and will continue working harder for Sarawak.”
The Kulim local stamped his mark with Kelantan from 2010 to 2012, winning the Malaysia Cup twice, Super League twice and the FA Cup once.
However, a niggling knee and thigh injury reduced Chanturu’s playing time with the Red Warriors in 2012 and he joined Perak last year. However, his injuries continued to haunt him.
The nippy winger then decided that he needed a fresh start and flew to Sarawak to revive his career.
“I’m happy to be playing regularly now after being plagued by the injury curse. We have a good team here and I hope I can help the team win a silverware this season,” said Chanturu.