Young gun aims for more

Junior midfielder Md Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir kicks a ball at practice.Picture : BT/Jason Thomas

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A QUIETLY confident midfielder, Md Aminuddin Zakwan Tahir prefers to let his feet do the talking.

Representing Brunei at the Under-13, Under-14 and Under-18 age levels, the soft-spoken captain of the Muara Vella Under-16 team is expected to be one of the Sultanate's brightest players in the future.

"I give him three years to make it into the national team," said national football coach Kwon Oh Son yesterday.

"He has good placing and can control the game well. I think he dribbles too much as a midfielder, when it should be one or two touches, but he is a great player with potential and is key to Muara Vella's success," said the South Korean who has coached Brunei at various age levels.

Currently on a quest to help Muara Vella reach the final of the National Under-16 Football League, Md Aminuddin scored a sublime free-kick during the team's 3-2 loss to Projek Ikan Pusu (PIP) in yesterday's first-leg semi-final.

Though the 15-year-old has been one of the most talked about players in the competition, where he scored five times and created just as many goals, he is not one to blow his own horn.

The central midfielder also plays for Brunei Youth (Under-16) in the DST Group Brunei Premier League (BPL) II, and has two goals to his name there.

The first to play down his achievements, the Form 3 student at Menglait Secondary School admits he has a lot to learn.

"I want to be a more mature and successful player, and I just want to get as much experience as I can," said Md Aminuddin when met at Muara Vella's training session on Tuesday.

"I like playing as a midfielder because I think it suits my style. I am also a big fan of Real Madrid's Xavi Alonso, and I admire his playmaking ability and how he reads the game. I remember how happy I was to be picked for the Under-18 team which competed in the Asean Schools Championships in Thailand last year, and the experience was really valuable," he said.

Coming from a family of five football crazy brothers, he has older brother Amir Ajmal — a left winger at the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB) — to look up to.

But he insists he doesn't want to follow in his brother's footsteps and join one of the three big BPL I teams.

"I don't care if other teams come knocking ... QAF FC, MS ABDB or AM Gunners. It's still Brunei Youth for me," he vowed. "I want to help them be a better team. I want to make it as a national footballer someday. I know football isn't really a viable career in Brunei but I am confident someday I can join the foreign leagues in Malaysia or Singapore."

Though he had a friendly game for Brunei Youth against MS ABDB at night, he said he wasn't going to be tired even though he was training with Muara Vella in the evening.

"For football, I'll do it," he said with a grin.The Brunei Times


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