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Saturday, August 04, 2012

Sabah’s prolific striker Rozaimi now a wanted man

The Star
Sabahan Md Rozaimi A. Rahman attempt to score during the final of football event at the Sukan Malaysia XV Pahang 2012 at Kuantan. on July 14 2012-- M. Azhar Arif/The Star
PETALING JAYA: It has been a hectic and productive three months for Sabah striker Rozaimi Abdul Rahman. The 19-year-old Buntong-lad scored 10 goals in the AFC Under-22 Asian Cup qualifier in Yangon in June. He then arrived in Kuantan and promptly scored in the semi-finals and final en route to helping Sabah win their first-ever Sukma gold medal last month.

The youngster also featured for the national team in the friendlies against English Premier League giants Arsenal and Manchester City. The 19-year-old’s heroics didn’t go unnoticed and he was chased by several clubs, including Thailand’s Premier League side BEC Tero Sasana. Rozaimi instead joined Selangor on loan for the Malaysia Cup.

The youngster said he is not letting success get to his head and that all he is interested in is to play football. “I just want to play football … but it feels great to know that foreign clubs are interested in me,” said Rozaimi, who will turn 20 on Oct 6.

“It’s always been my dream to play for the national team. I have broken into the senior team now and my next target is to be a starter with the team. “I’ll return to Sabah after my loan stint with Selangor and maybe I’ll join the Harimau Muda A next season.” Rozaimi’s scintillating form has won him a spot in the national team’s tour to Austria.

The team leave for Vienna for a 12-day training stint today. The Austrian stint is part of the team’s preparations to defend their AFF Cup in November. “This is my second trip to Europe after playing with the Harimau Muda A in Slovakia in May,” said Rozaimi who made his senior international debut in Malaysia’s 6-0 win over Sri Lanka in April.

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