Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Safiq Rahim goes on trial at Cardiff City

National skipper Safiq Rahim will get his long overdue chance to impress at Malaysian-owned English Second Division side Cardiff City.

The 24-year-old Selangor midfielder leaves for Cardiff today with high hopes of achieving a first for Malaysian football and take his football career to new heights.

National striker Safee Sali, who now plies his trade with Pelita Jaya in the Indonesian Super League, did enough to impress Cardiff manager Malky Mackay during the two weeks he was on trial in September. Safee was even dubbed the “Malaysian Beckham” by a Welsh newspaper and is likely to be a given a second trial by Cardiff.

Safiq, known for scoring with his trademark free-kicks, was earlier scheduled to leave for Cardiff in August but it was postponed because of his commitments with Selangor in the Malaysia Cup.

He scored from a free-kick against English Premier League giants Liverpool in Malaysia’s 3-6 defeat in a friendly at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil in July.

“It is a chance that I have been waiting for. This is the best opportunity for me to show my football skills. I know it is tough but nothing is impossible. It is time for us to show that there are skilful footballers in Malaysia too,” said an excited Safiq, who captained Malaysia against Arsenal and Liverpool.

“Whatever the outcome, I hope to learn the finer points of the game during my trial at Cardiff and take my game to a higher level. Of course my dream is to become the first Malaysian to play in England.”

Cardiff is owned by Malaysian tycoon Datuk Chan Tien Ghee. He is eager to see a Malaysian playing professional football in England.

“We are glad to have Safiq in Cardiff for three weeks. He will be given the chance to train with the first team,” said Tien Ghee.

FA of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said Safiq’s trials with Cardiff “is another step in the right direction” for Malaysian footballers.

“England have the best professional football league in the world. Our players must do more to impress the coaches and managers. They must also be highly disciplined,” added Tengku Abdullah.

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