Rookie midfielder G. Mahathevan (pic) can thank his lucky stars for his successful debut with Negri Sembilan this season.
The lanky 23-year-old, who stands 1.9m (6’3”), said it was a dream come true to have qualified for the Malaysia Cup final.
He now hopes to be a part of the team that will troop onto the pitch against Terengganu at the Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday.
“It’s been a good year for me and the team, which has qualified for three consecutive Malaysia Cup finals,” said Mahathevan, who is not too keen to be on the bench on Cup final day.
“I am not a regular yet. I do get chances here and there but I will continue to fight for my place and I hope to establish a first-team role in the star-studded Negri side.”
Mahathevan will have to compete with attacking midfielders Idris Karim, Shahurain Abu Samah, S. Kunalan and Abdul Halim Zainal for a place in the starting 11.
Mahathevan is also a rare breed of footballer who wants the best of both worlds – a successful career in football and studies. He holds a diploma in mechanical engineering.
He also believes that his stints with three other Premier League clubs have done wonders for him.
“I am playing with more confidence now. I have improved a lot since playing with my previous clubs – Shahzan Muda (2007), Sabah (2009) and PKNS FC (2010),” he said.
Things are certainly starting to look up for Mahathevan, especially since being signed up by Super League outfit Negri Sembilan this season.
Mahathevan, a big fan of French football legend Zinedine Zidane, also earned his first call-up to the national team under coach K. Rajagopal for the friendly against the visiting English Premier League giants Manchester United in July 2009.
It was not a memorable outing for Mahathevan, who only ended up warming the bench.
“I guess it was due to my inexperience. I am glad to have got the call-up though. I still have a lot to learn in football,” said the defensive midfielder.