KUALA LUMPUR: Irfan Zakaria enhanced his growing reputation by adding goals to his locker after scoring in his just his second appearance for the national team against Bhutan last Sunday.
As his club, Kuala Lumpur prepare to face Selangor in the FA Cup quarter-finals first leg on Saturday, Irfan’s versatility is no longer limited to playing in defence or midfield.
After evolving into a defensive midfielder with KL and a centre-back with the national team, goals do not come easy for Irfan, thus scoring for the national team was a magical moment for him.
“It was a great feeling to score although I did not expect it and was surprised to see the ball end up in the back of the net,” said Irfan, whose only other goal was for Young Tigers C in an FAM League match in 2013.
“It was only my second game for the national team and it is a game I will remember forever. I hope I can score for KL one day too but that is not my main role in the team. If it comes, then great, if not I will work hard for KL to win.”
With KL coach Fabio Maciel set to utilise Irfan in midfield against Selangor in Cheras on Saturday, the 22-year-old player made light of the frequent changes in position he has to live with.
“It’s not an issue for me because every player has their own special skill and can play in more than one position,” said Irfan.
“The discussion about my best position does not bother me because my only concern is to play to the best of my ability in any position.”
As one of the few home-grown players in the KL team, Irfan cherishes a win over Klang Valley derby rivals Selangor just like any true-blue city boy.
“This is a great opportunity for me to show the coach and our supporters what I can do for the team, especially in a game as big as a derby,” said Irfan.
“We lost to them 2-0 in the Super League although I did not play in that match but we are all eager to win this game and go far in the tournament.”
by Devinder Singh
Source: NST Online