PETALING JAYA: Can a goalkeeper be a good captain?
Perak goalkeeper Hafizul Hakim believes so and says the team are in good hands after he was named as the skipper to fill up the vacant spot left by Shahrul Saad who joined Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) recently due to salary arrears issue.
In fact, the 28-year-old Hafizul is inspired by Shahrul and former team captains Mohd Shahrom Kalam and Nasir Basharuddin to lead Perak in the Super League.
Hafizul is one of several seniors who stayed on with the club despite their off-field issues, and looks forward to spearheading the team to a better position in the remainder of the league.
Perak are 10th in the league with 12 points and will have to be at their best in their next nine games if they want to avoid relegation.
“I don’t feel that I’m eligible to be a captain, especially for a big club like Perak. I, however, took it as a challenge when the coach and players agreed that I should take it up,” said Hafizul.
“I have learnt from my senior pros like Nasir, Shahrul and Shahrom. They are players with strong character. I will do my best as a captain and be a good leader for my teammates.
“I will support them during this tough time. The captaincy raises my spirit to do my best and achieve our goals. Things have been looking positive and we will build on that.”
The club have brought in several local and foreign players to bolster Perak and feeder team Perak II following the departure of Shahrul, Guilherme De Paula, D. Kenny Pallraj, J. Partiban, Nazirul Naim and Shakir Hamzah.
The foreigners are Jad Noureddine of Lebanon and Indonesian-Cameronian Zoubairou Garba while the locals are Azhar Apandi and Syamin Baharudin. The ones picked for the Premier League are Charles Machell (Eng), Samir Ayass (Leb-Bul), Ghislain Guessan (Fra), S. Pavithran and Aizzat Maidin.
“We have lost several key players. Their experience and commitment are hard to be replaced but I’m glad the management have brought in new players,” said Hafizul.
“They are a boost, and with a feeder team, you have more options. I’ve played with Jad before in Perak three years ago, and I know what he can bring to the team.
“I hope the old and new players will form a good combination for the remainder of the games.”