Pleasant reunion for Kelantan United new signing Ariff

PETALING JAYA: Three years ago, defender Ariff Ar-Rasyid (pic), then 21, played a key role to help newly promoted UiTM finish a creditable sixth in the Super League.

However, the club went through some bad times a year later and found themselves relegated, but Ariff continued to stand out with his excellent defending which earned him a big move to Penang last year.

His time with the Panthers, however, turned out to be a forgettable one as he rarely played.

Feeling that he could not fulfil his potential there, Ariff decided to seek a new challenge in the east coast this season with Kelantan United.

But little did he know that a pleasant surprise awaited him. Ariff had set himself up for a reunion with former Penang coach Thomas Trucha, who is famed for being a dead ringer to Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp.

“When I was got the offer from Kelantan, I didn’t know Trucha is the coach! So I was even more excited,’’ said the 24-year-old Ariff.

‘’I know what he can do as a coach as he took Penang to third spot in the Super League two seasons ago.

“Under his guidance, I believe Kelantan United can be a surprise package.”

Ariff owes much of his improvement as a defender to former UiTM teammate Ahmad Khuzaimi Piee, who now plays for Selangor and is a key player in the national team.

‘’I’ve learned a lot from Ahmad and I’m inspired by him. I hope I can be as good as him and earn a call-up to the national team,’’ said Ariff.

“I look forward to a good season with Kelantan United as I intend to showcase my abilities and catch the attention of the national coach.’’

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