Thanabalan still young, full of potential - Abu Bakar Fadzim

Last update: 25/01/2020

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 -- Premier League side Perak II's new striker N.Thanabalan will be given ample space and opportunity to make his mark in the upcoming season, says head coach Abu Bakar Fadzim.

Abu Bakar plans to make Thanabalan, 25, his team's main player this season, but stressed that the player who turned heads during the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games must first prove his mettle.

He said the former mainstay of the national Under-23 (U-23) squad still had the killer instincts in him, despite spending much of his time on the bench when he was with Kedah last season.

"My desire is for him to emerge as one of the top scorers among the local players. At his age, it is not too late to return to the top of his game, and because of his experience, there is much opportunity for him to be in the first-11 this season,” he told Bernama.

According to Abu Bakar, the player from Rantau, Negeri Sembilan could help diversify the team’s attacking play this season, as he could also be deployed as a winger.

Thanabalan is known to possess good aerial ability, and it was his clinical header past Indonesia in the football event of the 2017 SEA Games which saw Malaysia through to the final. 

However, the player has struggled to make a name for himself in the Malaysian League since, and only had 16 appearances for Kedah in the Super League last season.