PETALING JAYA: Samuel Somer-ville (pic) is the first choice goalkeeper for Penang. And Penang is the first choice for Samuel when it comes to furthering his football career.
On Tuesday, Samuel, who is of Malaysian-English parentage, confirmed he’s staying with the islanders who emerged as the Premier League champions this season.
Penang have also retained centreback Abdul Latiff Suhaimi, Amer Azahar, winger Al-Hafiz Harun, Wan Mohd Faiz Wan Sulaiman and captain Azmi Muslim while Brazilian trio Rafael Vitor, Casagrande and Kendrick Santos are close to getting an extension with the Panthers for the 2021 season in the Super League.
The 26-year-old Samuel, who played for Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) II from 2015 to 2019, was sensational in his debut for Penang this year. He’s definitely one fine shot-stopper after conceding only eight goals – the least in the Premier League this season. And he featured in all their matches too.
Samuel said staying at Penang was always his first choice and only an exceptional offer can convince him otherwise.
“The reason I stayed was the relationships I have with coach Manzoor (Azwira) and goalkeeper coach Syam (Hisyam Jainuddin). They’re both great to work with as I trust them and they trust me.
“I think it’s important to play with a coach you have a good understanding with in terms of tactics. I find it easy to click with Manzoor, ” said Samuel.
“Its been a really positive year here since moving from JDT. As a professional, I set personal targets at the start of the year for things I want to achieve by the end of the season. This year I reached the target and now I am looking forward to achieving the same targets next year.”
Samuel is happy with the development of the squad since the beginning of 2020. Now, it is time to prepare for the new season.
And Samuel believes the Panthers have an added advantage as they are already a close-knit unit.
“Obviously bringing in a few more good players to strengthen the squad is essential for us but I think as long as the close-knit relationship remains within the team, we’ll be a handful to deal with for any team in the Super League.”
A good showing for Penang next season will also enhance Samuel’s hopes of donning national colours.
“I’m now playing at the highest level of Malaysian football. Hopefully with some good consistent performances for Penang, I can earn a national call up.”
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