In that 2014 season when Perak finished ninth, the defensive midfielder turned heads with his tough tackling despite his young age.
However, a year later, his game began to wane and he found himself sitting on the bench. With limited playing time, he joined Premier League side PKNP in 2018.
He pulled up his socks and started to gain attention again. He was snapped up by Felda United last year where he had a fruitful stint before signing up for another Premier League side, Penang.
It was with the Panthers that his game came to the fore. He was back at his best form and helped them become champions and win promotion to the Super League.
Now that the 26-year-old is back in the big league, the player known as ‘Ustad’ looks back at his journey fondly.
“It has not been smooth for me. But my stints with Perak, PKNP, Felda and now with Penang has helped me grow as a player.
“I’m now back in the Super League but first I want to help Penang do well in next month’s Malaysia Cup.
“We want to go as far as possible. It is the final trophy of the season and also a platform for players to get their contract extended or move to bigger clubs next season. So there’s still plenty to play for,” added Raffi whose contract ends this season.
“In the league, we did well despite the Covid-19 disrupting our plans a bit. The teamwork and sacrifices from players to coaches were well worth it.
“We stuck as a team, went about our business and managed to lift the title and gain promotion. What else can you ask for?”
The Malaysia Cup will kick off with the first round on Nov 6-8. The quarter-finals will be held from Nov 12-13, the semi-finals on Nov 17 and the final on Nov 22.
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