Thursday, 8 December 2011

Defender Muslim Ahmad returns to Terengganu next season

Muslim Ahmad has left Young Tigers to return to his home team Terengganu as the defender prepares to combine the chase for domestic honours with a glittering international career.

Having established himself with the national team, the 22-year-old Muslim felt the time is right to leave the sheltered life at Wisma FAM and embark on a new path in his career.

Muslim, who has two Sea Games gold medals and an AFF Cup winners' medal in his collection, now aims to help FA Cup winners Terengganu advance past the first round of the AFC Cup, win the Super League and Malaysia Cup when the new season starts on Jan 7.

"It's time for me to gain new experience with Terengganu. With Terengganu being my home state and the fact that they will be playing in the AFC Cup this season was a major factor in making the move.

"I also have not won a major honour in Malaysian football yet and I believe I can achieve my ambition with Terengganu. I want to leave a legacy behind and I can only do that by winning the Super League, Malaysia Cup and FA Cup," said Muslim after a meet-the-fans session involving six other Sea Games squad teammates in Danau Kota, Setapak on Tuesday.

Muslim, who also helped Young Tigers win the Premier League title in 2009, joins there other Tigers players -- Faizal Muhammad, Abdul Shukur Jusoh and Affize Faisal Mamat -- in moving to Terengganu.

It means he will not be part of the Young Tigers side who will make their debut in the S-League next year but, sentiments aside, Muslim does not feel he will be missing out on much.

"I made my name with the Young Tigers so of course I feel a little sad in leaving the team. But I will not be eligible for the next Sea Games or Asian Games so there is no point staying with the team.

"Although I'll miss out on the experience of playing in the S-League, I think it will serve me better to play in the AFC Cup with Terengganu where we will come up against much stronger sides.

"I think we can do well in the AFC Cup and my immediate target is to help Terengganu reach the second round," added Muslim, who will have the chance of playing against Kitchee of Hong Kong, Song Lam Nghe An of Vietnam and S-League champions Tampines Rovers in the AFC Cup.

Mat Zan Mat Aris, who coached Terengganu to their only Malaysia Cup title in 2000, returns to the East Coast side this season and has also brought in midfielders Hariri Safii from Sabah and Shamsul Kamal Mohammad from T-Team.

Three players --  Zharif Hasna, Wan Aliff Wan Jasmi and Hassan Basri Ahmad Ridzuan -- have moved to neighbours T-Team, defender Ronny Harun returned to Sabah while left-back Helmi Remeli is now with PKNS.

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