Goalkeeper Khairul has no qualms over rotating system in Sabah’s goal

PETALING JAYA: Sabah’s Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (pic) is no longer a first-choice goalkeeper but he is fine with it.

After years of playing as the first-choice keeper, Khairul has been used alternately with fellow keeper Damien Lim in the Super League.

The 34-year-old Khairul has played in three league games so far while Damien, 25, has played in two, and both have impressed so far in the league as the Rhinos are second with 13 points.

Coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee has opted to rotate the goalkeeping position as both have quality and will help the club sustain a hectic season, which also includes the AFC Cup.

Khairul, when asked if he is comfortable being played on a rotational basis, said it was good for him.

“This year, we will have lots of games in the domestic scene, and then we have the AFC Cup as well,” said Khairul

“It’s also good for Damien as well because he needs minutes to be stronger.

“And in the current national team, Damien is in the squad. So having games in his belt will surely be good for his development.

“As for me, I am fine sharing games with him. No problem at all.

“You’ve to understand that when a goalkeeper doesn’t play too long, it can affect the tempo of the game. So having two goalies with good minutes is beneficial for the team.

“Coach Ong told us about his plan to rotate, and we are with him all the way.”

After the international break, Sabah will take on table toppers Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in their sixth Super League game at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri on Friday.

Khairul said the team had been preparing well for the game and have changed their training time to night to coincide with the month of Ramadan.

“Despite fasting, everyone is giving their 100 per cent. Commitment-wise, it has been excellent,” he said.

“JDT, as we all know, are top of the league and are now the best side in South-East Asia. We know the quality they have, so our preparation has to be superb.”

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Sabah , Khairul Fahmi Che Mat , goalkeeper


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