DESPITE such an array of stars, Pahang's ace in the pack for tomorrow's
Malaysia Cup final could well turn out to be newcomer Zulhamizan Zakaria.
Coach Mike Brown has special plans for this 23-year-old utility player,
who made his debut with Pahang in 1990 as a striker.
Undoubtedly, his yet untold position could keep Kedah guessing, as Brown
can field him as a leftback, left midfielder or left flanker.
Even Zulhamizan has no idea where he is expected to be fielded tomorrow,
especially as he has been tried in every slot during training.
"But I am prepared for any role," said Zulhamizan in Kuantan yesterday.
"The coach knows best where I will be most effective."
"I am only happy that I am in the running for a place in the first 11
for the final."
Zulhamizam can consider himself exceptional because while most players
are in line for a role and at most two, he is being lined up for three
This gives him more chances of making the starting lineup.
Zulhamizan is glad Brown has found more than one use for him. "At least
this way I have become versatile and my chances of playing are brighter."
Said Brown: "I still have time to finalise my plans and where I intend
to use Zulahamizan. Right now I am very happy he is working hard and has
done well in his various roles.
"It gives me plenty of options."
Zulhamizan's speciality is his sweet left foot which sends good crosses.
He is also apt in defence and supports the attack from his flankback
position. He has been kinown to give opposing defenders a hard time.
As a midfielder, he works hard, defends well, distributes the ball
nicely and puts his crosses to good use.
As a flanker, he is fast and is able to score.
For Zulhamizam, playing in the final is a dream come true.
"I was only 14 when Pahang won the Cup in 1983. I joined the fans in
lining the steets to welcome our heroes.
"Today I am playing aside some of those heroes like Zainal Abidin
Hassan. It is really an honour for me."
Zulhamizan said nothing would be sweeter than to bring back the Cup a
second time. Better still, if he could score in the final.
"The most unlikeliest players have been known to score in Cup final and
why not me?" he said.
Zulhamizam has scored three goals in the SemiPro league but has yet to
get into the scoresheet in the Malaysia Cup.