PETALING JAYA: Perak goalkeeper Hafizul Hakim has his sights clear, literally, for the 2020 Super League. He wants people to see him at his best again. And he believes they will. Because he can see clearly.
The national player has undergone Lasik surgery, a type of refractive surgery, to put an end to the astigmatism problem that has plagued him.
After the 2019 season ended, the 26-year-old underwent the procedure in December and is expected to recover by February, long before the season starts on Feb 28.
The 1.86m tall goalkeeper, who is from Ipoh, also had an operation on his right knee to mend a meniscus tear that had him limping around after matches last season.
“I have not gone into full pre-season training because I am concentrating on my recovery from both operations. I want to be pain-free before the season starts, ” he said.
“I wanted to do the Lasik surgery for a long time, but I did not have time due to the tight league schedule. I had time in December so I did it.
“Doctors said my astigmatism was high, and that the surgery would help reduce it. The recovery period depends on the individual. It could take a month or even three months. But I will be back with the squad next month.”
Although he won the Malaysia Cup in 2018 and qualified for the FA Cup final with Perak in 2019, Hafizul felt those two years were his toughest as his form was not consistent and he was ridiculed by fans for some of his poor performances.
“I want to forget what happened in those two years. The days were pretty tough for me. Now that I have had the surgeries, I am only looking to improve myself.
“When I first joined Perak in 2016, people appreciated me for my performances. I want to recapture that form and help the team achieve success in 2020.”
The departures of Brendan Gan, Nasir Basharuddin and Norhakim Hassan have not perturbed the player as he believes they have talented young players from the President Cup squad.
He said they have to look forward and not think about the departures if they want to achieve success in the league.
“We still have some of our talented players. I am not too worried because I know the youngsters from the President Cup team will do well.
“People have to believe in these boys. Also, (feeder squad) Perak II will help us during the league. So, we do not need to worry about the local players’ depth. I am optimistic.”
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