Haqimi to work his socks off to make KL’s starting XI

Young and dangerous: Mohd Haqimi Azim Rosli was included in the recently concluded AFF Cup where he played four matches and scored a goal against Laos.

PETALING JAYA: Fast-rising Mohd Haqimi Azim Rosli is well aware of the challenges ahead in the Super League but the young striker is not planning to be a bench warmer with Kuala Lumpur this season.

Haqimi, 20, had impressed coach Bojan Hodak last season where he played for the City Boys 11 times and scored a goal. His talent was also noted by Harimau Malaya coach Kim Pan-gon.

Pan-gon included the youngster in the recently concluded AFF Cup where he played four matches and scored a goal against Laos in a 5-0 win.

Despite his exploits, Haqimi may not get enough playing time due to KL’s new strike force which is considered to be one of the strongest in the league.

Former Selangor hitman Herlison Caion and Ivorian Tchetche Kipre are the main signings who will spearhead the attack while Hodak has also brought in Filipino winger Patrick Reichelt and Danish-Italian utility player Sebastian Avanzin to strengthen the frontline.

KL already have the services of Colombian striker Romel Morales and Paulo Josue of Brazil who can also play as a forward or midfielder. This would probably leave Haqimi down the pecking order but the youngster wants to impress Hodak with his workrate and commitment in training and pre-season matches.

“It is going to be a stiff challenge to get regular starts. No matter what, I want to play this season and I will battle for my place with the imports,” said Haqimi.

“I want to cement my place as a striker in the team although I have compete with the experienced ones.

“I will give my 100% in training and also during the pre-season to ensure that I get my chance to play in the Super League.

“With players like Romel and Paulo also in the team, it is going to be difficult to vie for the centre forward position but in order to play, I’m even ready to play as a flanker.”

Caion, who scored 24 goals for Selangor last season, is the player Haqimi will be looking up to as the Brazilian comes with plenty of experience to tap on.

“I’m still young and there is plenty to learn. I would like to use this platform to learn from the experienced Caion,” he added.

Haqimi’s determination and the number of quality strikers Hodak has in his squad is likely to bolster KL’s chances of challenging their major rivals Johor Darul Ta’zim for honours this season.

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