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Friday, June 22, 2001

M-League - Subhi new Brunei hotshot

By Benny Ang

Amidst the success that Brunei have enjoyed in Premier Two of the Malaysian League this season, one player has emerged from the shadows and has surprised almost everyone en route to leading the Wasps in goals scored this season.

After a tough debut season last year, Mohd Subhi Abdillah Bakir has finally fulfilled the potential he has shown for some years now and has been an instrumental figure in Brunei's success this year.

Subhi has scored four goals already with five other players on two goals and three others on one each but no one is as taken aback by the success he has had than the midfielder himself.

Still eligible for the SEA Games at 22 years old, Subhi remains a figure of modesty saying, "The team has done well in creating chances and luckily I have taken them. At the end of the day, as long as the team continues to win, it doesn't matter who scores.

"The main aim this season is to gain promotion and it doesn't matter if I score 10 goals or one goal. If we get promoted than we will have accomplished what we set out to achieve."

Subhi's potential has never been in question but his development process was sped up rather abruptly last season when he was forced to deputise for the injury-plagued Rosli Liman.

Replacing the man-of-the-match in the Malaysia Cup final was never going to be an easy task, especially for one so young as Subhi and at times he looked out of his depth.

Now with a permanent place in the midfield alongside Irwan Mohammad and Azmanuddin Gillen, Subhi has had a breakthrough year and has no intention of letting up yet.

Added Subhi, "There is still a long way to go yet and I have to continue to play my part. There are good players waiting in the wings and I cannot be complacent about my spot in the team." National coach Mick Jones was the first to pay tribute to Subhi's improvement and is also hopeful of more good things to come from the youngster.

"At the start of the season, I told him I expected more of him this season and we talked about a target of how many goals he could score. He's well on the way towards achieving that target.

"The pattern of play that I have laid out is geared towards him getting in the box more and supporting the strikers so he's had his opportunities and he's taken them," said Jones.

According to the Brunei coach also, it's not the amount of goals that has pleased him but the fact that Subhi has scored some crucial goals.

"The goals he has scored have been crucial ones like the last one against Kelantan TNB to give us the lead. Subhi is hardly the biggest player but his sense of positioning and scoring instinct is such that he will always score goals.

"He times his runs well and is well on course to being a good player for us. I expect a lot more to come from Subhi and I think he expects it himself as well," added Jones.

Jones also said that the pressure put on him by Rosmin Hj Khamis, another star of the next generation has pushed him to work harder and has helped Subhi's game dramatically.

"Rosmin is a gifted player, has two great feet, is tough and strong and is the complete player. He somehow lacks the self-belief at this point and is probably one year behind Subhi in terms of development.

"If he can develop the same killer instinct that his brother (Hj Rosaidi Hj Khamis) had, then he will become a fantastic player for the country."

With the midfield virtually set and playing well, there is no hurry to rush Rosmin along but Jones is confident that at some point during the season, Rosmin will play a part with suspensions and injuries to come.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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