PETALING JAYA: Winger S. Kumaahran (pic) is fulfilling Melaka’s need for speed. But the 24-year-old on loan from Johor Darul Ta’zim is not just a Speedy Gonzales.
After seven games with the Mousedeer in the Super League, he has made a huge impact, scoring three goals and providing four assists – making him the most impressive performer in Zainal Abidin Hassan’s side.
Kumaahran was lauded by many in Melaka’s 3-0 win over UiTM on Saturday, where he scored once and created goals for Sony Norde and Stefan Nikolic.
While the praises are music to his ears, the ex-Penang player is staying in his own rhythm to keep on evolving as a high-value player. His aim now is to hit double figures, in both goals and assists.
“I must stay humble and keep improving as the season is still a long way to go. I’m in Melaka to prove that I have what it takes to perform week in, week out, in the top division, ” said Kumaahran.
“I still have to work on my deliveries and increase my assist count, and I still feel that my finishing needs work. Football is not all about individual contribution, as you need to work off the ball to help your teammates.
“Coach Zainal has emphasised that we must all do our part defensively because at the end of the day, to win games, you can’t just go about attacking only.”
He added that he is building a strong partnership with Montenegrin striker Nikolic.
Nikolic, who made his debut in Melaka’s 2-1 loss to Penang on April 6, has scored two goals, one against Penang and another against UiTM. Both of those goals were set up by Kumaahran.
“He’s a tall striker, about 1.93m - an excellent target man to have. The coach always tells me to deliver crosses to him. So far, all the crosses I’ve made, he seems to find a way to connect to it.”
Melaka are ninth in the league with seven points, but they were deducted three points for their failure to settle players’ arrears.