PETALING JAYA: Adam Nor Azlin is a youngster in a hurry.
The 16-year-old Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) footballer wants to make a big impression in the National Under-23 squad next year. He was promoted to the squad from the President’s Cup Under-21 squad this year.
Adam was included by National Under-23 squad coach Ong Kim Swee in the Newspaper Cup in Vietnam in October following an injury to central midfielder Irfan Fazail. The Klang-born lad grabbed the opportunity and repaid Kim Swee’s faith in him by helping the team emerged champions. He played in all the four matches, including the 1-0 win over Vietnam in the final.
Adam said that he never expected to get a starting role in the team because of his age and lack of experience.
“For me, it’s a learning curve. I hope to learn as much as possible playing with the senior players. My initial target was to make gradual progress in the team – from the substitutes’ bench and then to the first 11. Getting the chance so soon is a pleasant surprise,” said Adam, whose favourite player is Spain and Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta.
“I need to thank coach Kim Swee for having faith in me. I will continue to work harder,” added Adam, who was BJSS’ top scorer in the President’s Cup with 13 goals last season.
The National Under-23 team will be competing in the SEA Games in Myanmar next year where Malaysia are the defending champions. In a build-up to the Games, Kim Swee is arranging numerous friendlies for the players to gain experience and exposure.
Adam was involved in the two friendlies thus far, a 2-1 win over Premier League side Sime Darby FC on Sunday and a 1-1 draw against Sarawak, another Premier League team, last week.
“I hope to get as much play time as possible in the team.
“That’s the way to become a better player,” said Adam, who can also double up as a striker and centreback.
Adam’s target naturally is to make the final SEA Games squad.
“We have an important task of defending the SEA Games gold medal. I hope I can make the final 18-man team,” said Adam.