And he has found the net again now. Not for his Premier League team, but for his livelihood.
With the M-League suspended, Syed Sobri has returned to his village in Kemaman to become a fisherman at sea.
It’s not a tough transition for him. Syed Sobri comes from a family of fisherman and has been fishing since young.
The 26-year-old said he was proud to be a fisherman and had always been fishing when on a break at home. He also helps his mother to sell food and kuih for buka puasa at their home.
“I decided to return home in March when the movement control order (MCO) was announced and the M-League was suspended indefinitely. I felt it was better for me to go home,” said Syed Sobri.
“Whenever I come home, fishing has always been on my to-do list. It’s normal for me because I come from a fishing family. I go out to the sea in the night and return at dawn. This has been my routine since the MCO started if the weather is okay. If not, I’ll just rest at home.”
“We usually catch ikan kembung (indian mackerel), tongkol (skipjack tuna) and ikan selayang (round scad) ... whether we get a good haul or not depends on luck.”
Syed Sobri started his career with Sime Darby from 2015 to 2016 before moving to Melaka. He also featured for T-Team in 2017 before the team were rebadged as Terengganu 2018. With T-Team, he again scored against Pahang in a hard-fought 3-2 Malaysia Cup defeat.
He has been plying his trade with Premier League outfit UKM since 2019 and the university side are currently eighth in the 12-team table with four points after three matches with a win, a draw and a defeat.
Syed Sobri said going out to sea had kept him fit as it’s a physically demanding job.
“People might think fishing is easy but it is really tiring work. You need to have the power to haul the nets into the boat,” he said.
“I have been working out at home and I think fishing has kept me in shape during the MCO.”