PETALING JAYA: Many football fans were taken aback when national defender Irfan Zakaria decided to leave top club Kedah by returning to Kuala Lumpur.
However, Irfan has a plan. He wants to help his childhood club succeed in their return to the top division.
Plus, he needs just nine games to complete his century turning out for them. He played for them from 2016 to 2019. In the current squad, midfielder Zhafri Yahya has more at 110 matches.
“After a year, I’m back in KL. I’ve no complaints on my stint in Alor Setar. I gained a lot of experience and made new friends there. Now that I’m back home, it feels good, ” said the 25-year-old from Cheras.
“I went through a challenging journey in Kedah because they are one of the top sides in the country.
“But I managed to adapt and what I’ve learned I will bring that to KL. I’m here to make KL a top side again.”
Irfan played 12 games in all competitions for the Red Eagles, including two AFC Champions League preliminary matches against Hong Kong’s Tai Po and the playoffs against South Korea’s FC Seoul last year.
Although Kedah were keen to hold on to him, Irfan decided to help KL and also to be closer with his family.
He is a versatile player who is at ease as a defensive midfielder which he had done several times with KL.
With those traits and still at a young age, many envisioned him to be a future captain and legend at KL, but Irfan will not get carried away.
“I just want to help elevate KL to their former glory.”
KL were formed in 1975 had their most successful period in the late 1980s after being crowned league champions twice in 1986 and 1988.
They also won the Malaysia Cup for three consecutive years in 1987,1988 and 1989.
The team enjoyed considerable success in cup competitions in the 1990s, winning the FA Cup in 1993,1994 and 1999.