The 29-year-old 1.93m defender had heard glowing reports of the game here from former Selangor centreback Michel Nguyen and when Nirennold and his wife visited Malaysia, they were smitten, and the prospect of playing and staying in Kuala Lumpur soon became a reality.
And the former Vietnam League’s Da Nang player is now relishing every moment with UiTM, the first varsity side to play in the country’s top football league.
“Michel and I met in the Vietnamese League, and we kept in touch quite often. He spoke about the Malaysian League, and he had only good things to say,” said Nirennold.
“UiTM are a great club. I have no complaints at all. They take care of their players and even during the lockdown period, they get groceries for us and constantly ask us about our well being.”
Nirennold has featured in all four matches for UiTM before all matches were cancelled under the movement control order (MCO) to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
UiTM, under coach Frank Bernhardt, are ninth in the league with four points. They lost 0-2 to Melaka and 1-2 to Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) but bounced back by holding reigning FA Cup champions Kedah 1-1 and beating Police 3-1.
“This is one of the best squad atmospheres I have tasted. We are like one big family. Working with coach Frank has been good because he is very clear with what he wants. He is demanding because he only wants the best from you in training and matches. You do not have time to chill, so as a player, you can only improve and I like that.”
And, of course, Nirennold has to devise ways to keep fit during the MCO period.
“Besides the training programme given by the team’s coaching staff, I improve my cardio by taking the stairs and running around the parking lot in my condominium. I also take care of my seven-month-old child. So, my time at home is always filled with something to do.”
When the season resumes, Nirennold hopes to see UiTM become a force to be reckoned with.
“When I was in Da Nang, people praised me for my performances and I was even recognised by the league through the monthly awards. The club wanted to keep me, but I wanted a new challenge. I am now looking forward to earning the same accolades with UiTM.”