No flight of fancy


New beginning: Nasir Basharudin (left) wants to show that an all-local side like Petaling Jaya City are capable of challenging the big teams in the Super League.

PETALING JAYA: Former national defensive midfielder Nasir Basharudin wants to rise again and regain his place in Harimau Malaya.

And he believes a starring role with the Phoenix in the Super League this season will elevate him to that level again.

The 31-year-old Nasir made a bold move by joining all-local outfit Petaling Jaya City from Terengganu.

He hopes a regular spot and consistently convincing displays in coach P. Maniam’s side will help him catch the attention of Malaysia’s new South Korean coach Kim Pang-gon.

“That’s my aim when I joined PJ City. It’s a chance for me to get back into the national team. It’ll be a new beginning with a new coach, and that’s a strong motivation for me,” said Nasir.

“Also, I came to this club because I wanted a new challenge and to show that an all-local side are capable of challenging the big guns in the Super League.

“I can also use my experience to guide some of the youngsters in the team to be strong professionals.”

Nasir made his name with Perak from 2010 to 2019. He was a captain, noted for his high work rate and composure under pressure.

He has earned 10 caps with Malaysia and hopes to add to that tally soon.

In the recent AFF Suzuki Cup, Malaysia missed the services of a pure defensive midfielder and that was one of the X factors that cost them dearly as they failed to reach the semi-finals in Singapore.

If Nasir shines with PJ City, he will surely be in contention for future call-ups.

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