PETALING JAYA: When goalkeeper Sharbinee Allawee was released by Super League outfit Pahang at the end of last year, he contemplated retirement.
Then out of the blue, a call came from Sarawak United coach E. Elavarasan and it changed his life and career.
Elavarasan managed to convince the 35-year-old to play for his Premier League side and it was a masterstroke signing as he has only conceded three goals in seven games.
It’s the best record in the Premier League and in fact Sharbinee managed to keep a clean sheet for 450 minutes until FAM-MSN Project Squad player, Azhad Harraz Arman, became the first player to beat him through a penalty kick two weeks ago.
According to Sharbinee, he did not expect to be able to come up with such a performance as he was only with the team for a week before the start of the Premier League.
“Most of the players in Sarawak are new, but they have shown great compatibility and the results show. I was thinking of retirement but coach Elavarasan convinced me otherwise. It’s been good so far, ” said Sharbinee.
“The experience of most of the players in the team makes it easier to gel with each other and it has worked wonders for the team since the first match.”Sharbinee, a Malaysian international from 2009 to 2011 who also played in the Laos SEA Games (2009), kept a clean slate for five straight matches when the league started on March 7.
The first goal he conceded was against FAM-MSN Project Squad, a game United won 7-1 on April 10. The other two goals were scored by Police who won 2-0 on April 16.
“The performance that I showed at Sarawak United was not only because of me but because of the cooperation of my teammates. We all worked together to be in this form right now, ” said Sharbinee.
He’s hoping the team can maintain their form during the month of Ramadan in their bid to earn promotion to the Super League.
“We have to maintain our discipline and diet during breaking fast and sahur (pre-dawn meal). The team will train in the evening after the break so that we are at a better level apart from adjusting to playing at 10pm.
“I am confident that the team will be able to maintain the same performance in matches during the fasting month.”
Sarawak United are second in the Premier League with 16 points but they have a game in hand compared to leaders Negri Sembilan who have 17 points from eight matches.