PETALING JAYA: Pahang’s new star S. Kumaahran is the type who prefers to see the glass as half full.
The promising 22-year-old joined Super League side Pahang for the 2020 season in a shock loan move, along with teammate Fazly Mazlan, from Premier League outfit Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) II in January.
There was another shock for him when the Elephant’s coach Dollah Salleh pushed him from the right-wing to the rightback position following the departure of skipper Matthew Davies to JDT.
However, the lad from Penang is not too perturbed – he has faced bigger setbacks in his career.
At the age of 16, the prodigious talent went for trials with Brazilian giants Cruzeiro in 2012 but did not make the cut due to an injury.
He had missed several Under-23 and national team assignments due to injuries, including an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury on his right knee during the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
“Coach Dollah asked me if I could play in the rightback position and I told him I have never played in that position but could try it out in training and test matches. It was a bit awkward initially but I learned to time my overlapping runs and improve the quality of my crosses, ” said Kumaahran.
“I played as a rightback in our last four matches before the movement control order (MCO) and I have one assist so I think I’m doing okay in the new position.”
“I don’t see it as a big problem. I just want to get better as a player and playing in a new position allows me to improve. I take this as a challenge and I’m looking forward to excelling in my new role.”
The Butterworth-born lad said working with Dollah was another plus for him.
In fact, Kumaahran earned his first international cap at the tender age of 19 under Dollah’s guidance in the goalless draw against Bangladesh on Aug 29 in 2015.
“Coach Dollah believes in my abilities, he called-up me up for the national team when I was just a teenager and that stint with the national team was an eye-opener for me, ” said Kumaahran.
“I hope I can fit in with Pahang quickly and win the fans’ support... they are a big team and I want to help them win matches but for now let us all follow the MCO and stay safe.”
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