KANGAR: Perak’s Muhammad Shahrel Fikri Md Fauzi is thankful to coach Syamsol Saad for giving him a second chance in his football career.
The 20-year-old striker repaid Syamsol’s faith in him by firing a brace in the 3-1 win over Johor in the Malaysia Games (Sukma) football final at the Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium in Kangar on Tuesday.
The young forward netted in the seventh and 90th minutes while strike partner Khairul Asyraf Sahizah scored the other goal in the 17th minute.
Shafiq Shaharuddin converted a spot kick in the 76th minute for Johor’s consolation goal.
“I’m here because of my coach ... he gave me a second chance to play and I’m glad I had repaid his trust with the gold medal,” said Shahrel.
The youngster was supposed to sign a contract with the Harimau Muda B squad earlier this year but failed the medical test due to a heart problem.
“My medical test revealed that my heart valve has a hole and I was advised to quit football. I didn’t play football for two months before coach Syamsol called me up to play for Perak’s President’s cup team and later the Sukma team.
“I feel fine ... there are no issues with my heart ... I just need to take care of myself better to become a top footballer,” said Shahrel, who played in all five of Perak’s matches in Sukma.