Syihan muscles in on No. 1 spot in PJ City


PETALING JAYA: He looks like a bodybuilder, his muscles bulging through his shirt with his every move. But no, Ahmad Syihan Hazmi is a goalkeeper – one who looks certain to scare strikers when they come up against him.

The Petaling Jaya City custodian not only looks imposing with his muscular stature, he has also shown that he is agile and flexible by making breathtaking saves in the three matches he has played for the Klang Valley-based club.

The 24-year-old’s rise this season has been remarkable considering that he has returned from a two-year suspension after testing positive for banned substance methandienone at the AFC Under-23 Championship in Changshu, China, in 2018.

Syihan is certainly glad that he got a club after his suspension, but being made the first-choice goalkeeper is something that he is not taking for granted.

The former Kelantan goalkeeper wants to maintain his spot, and repay the faith shown by PJ City’s coach K. Devan.

However, he admitted that it would not be an easy task, as the momentum and fitness would have been affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the long break.

Syihan will be back in action on Aug 22 when PJ City take on Terengganu at the Petaling Jaya Stadium.

“During my two-year suspension, I went through a lot of challenges, but thank God, I got to play again, ” said Syihan.

“In the beginning, it was not easy competing with the other keepers like Damien Lim, Kalamullah Al-Hafiz and Mohd Aqil Abdul Razak, because they are worthy of the first-team spot, too.

“Even though I played the first three games, that does not mean I am guaranteed a spot because I have not trained in a while because of the pandemic. Now, it is back to square one. I have to fight for the spot again.

“I am looking forward to the resumption of the league and I am positive I will grow in this team.”

PJ City are 10th in the league with four points but have only played three matches, unlike most other teams. In the first game of the season, they drew with Felda United 1-1, shocked Pahang 3-2, but lost to Perak 2-0.

Their final game before the league’s suspension against Terengganu had to be postponed, which means they have eight matches to play to complete the league.

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