Kedah decide to part ways with centreback of 15-years standing


True-blue Kedahan: Khairul Helmi Johari (right) wishes the Red Eagles the best in their quest for glory next season despite being abruptly discarded by them.

PETALING JAYA: For 15 years, Khairul Helmi Johari has been synonymous with the Red Eagles.

The Sungai Petani-born player made his professional bow in 2006 and has won every domestic trophy in the country with Kedah.

However, his wish to end his career as a one-club player will not be fulfilled as he was released last week.

“I’m not shocked as I’ve expected that I will not be in Kedah’s plans next season. This is football and I guess it’s time for me to move on, ” said the 32-year-old centreback.

“I wish only the best for them. If you ask me about memories, there are too many to list down. Every moment I have with Kedah have been precious. I will never forget it.

“With the signing of some exciting players, I believe they will be stronger next year compared to this season. I’m sure they’ll be strong contenders for the league title and any trophies on offer next year.

“I owe a lot to the club. They gave me the platform to shine and get selected for the national team. During my days, I’ve played alongside so many legends. It’s been a beautiful journey.”

Khairul has won the Super League winner’s medal twice (2007 and 2008), Malaysia Cup thrice (2007,2008 and 2016), the FA Cup four times (2007,2008,2017 and 2019), Premier League twice (2006 and 2015) and the Charity Shield in 2017.

In Khairul’s last two seasons, he has not been ever-present in the first 11 and was largely used as a substitute.

Despite his lack of playing time, Khairul, one of the seniors members along with captain Baddrol Bakhtiar, made sure that team harmony is maintained.

“The understanding among players is crucial for any team to succeed. I always remind them on the importance of communication and teamwork.

“As for my future, I’m in discussions with several Super and Premier League teams.”

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