Hartmann follows his heart

Happiness at last: Mark Hartmann (right), who played for Penang, Sarawak and PJ City, says he feels at home with his new team UiTM.

PETALING JAYA: Mark Hartmann played in three Super League matches for Petaling Jaya City, coming off each time after just an hour into the match.

Then on March 15, he surprised everyone by turning out for UiTM against Police at Shah Alam instead. The 28-year-old helped UiTM to a 3-1 win against the Cops and admitted later that he was finally at the place he wanted to be.

Hartmann does not believe in staying where he is not wanted.

The sudden switch raised by the Philippines international did raise some questions.

“I got the call a day before the transfer window closed (on March 16). For me, it has always been the case of going where you are wanted, ” he said.

“I spoke to my agent Chekko (Sherif Ahmed Moustafa Saleh) about it and he had talks with UiTM. It was an easy decision for me after speaking to the management.

“Now, I am just looking forward to when the season starts again.”

In his first three matches with PJ City, the former player of Thai club side Nakhon Ratchasima, was in midfield together with R. Barathkumar and captain K. Gurusamy.

He showed great industry with his movements and passes, but in all three matches, he was subbed off by coach K. Devan at the 65th-minute mark.

Now with a new club, the former Penang and Sarawak player is hopeful he can make a mark with his new team, which are filled with undergraduates.

“My expectations of myself are always very high. I want to perform the best I can in every game, scoring or assisting.

“My football journey has had its ups and downs. After starting in England as a boy, I came to Asia for the first time in 2011 and it was a big shock.

“Luckily, I adapted quickly to every place I went.”

In Malaysia alone, he has already played for four teams, with UiTM being the latest.

Asked what makes him come back to Malaysia, he said: “I always enjoy my time in Malaysia. I was lucky enough to be in Penang and Sarawak, two beautiful places.

“This is the first time I am based in the country’s capital, but I am enjoying it so far.”

The movement control order has seen many players training by themselves at their home, but Hartmann at least has his family with him.

“I am making sure that I stay in my apartment as much I can. Luckily, my family arrived a week before the lockdown, and we have our little boy to keep us entertained now.”

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Mark Hartmann , UiTM , Super League


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