PETALING JAYA: Perak midfielder Firdaus Saiyadi admits that he has been a shadow of his old self and is determined to recapture his form in the Malaysia Cup.
The 24-year-old was once touted to be the next big star for Perak when he made his professional debut in 2016 but he had to serve a two-year ban following a doping offence that year.
He made a triumphant return in mid-2018, making seven appearances in the Malaysia Cup and helping Perak end a 12-year wait for silverware when they overcame Terengganu in the final.
In 2019, Firdaus, noted for his exciting dribbling skills and visionary passing, continued to shine by helping Perak qualify for the FA Cup final and even received a national call-up for the Airmarine Cup.
All seemed to be going well until he sustained a few injuries last year that resulted in a loss of form.
This season, Firdaus struggled to perform to his best ability when Perak badly needed him to be at his best.
“Things have not gone my way at all,” lamented Firdaus, who was once a youth trainee with Australian club Newcastle Jets.
“I got injured at the start of this season and only played in the last 10 games of the Super League but I couldn’t do much. Worse still, the team had to deal with off-field issues as well.”
Firdaus, however, has vowed to help Perak get their first win when they take on Terengganu at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh on Oct 30.
Perak had lost 0-1 to Selangor and drew 2-2 with Kuching City in Group B before the break.
“Right now, I’m working on my fitness. I’m also focusing on improving my understanding with teammates.
“I aim to help Perak get their first win and progress as far as we can in the competition.
“The team are slowly regaining their confidence. The break (since Oct 2) has been helpful for us to regroup and we hope to be better.
“I’m one of the seniors in the team. So it’s only right for me to lead by example and guide our youngsters to do well in the Malaysia Cup and bounce back next year by pushing for promotion to the Super League in 2023.”
Perak were relegated to the Premier League for the first time after finishing 11th in the Super League.