FOR a rookie in his first M-League season, Mohamad Imran Ahmad is becoming
the most battle scarred player in the Kuala Lumpur team.
Leftback Imran, 23, has played in all of KL's 13 matches - 11 League and
two FA Cup matches - so far.
Only two other Hawks match his record but stopper M. Karunakaran has
left to join Olympic 2000 and skipper P. Saravanan will miss today's away
match against Sarawak because of chicken pox.
That will see Imran becoming the "most capped" KL player when he goes
for his 14th consecutive match in Kuching.
A remarkable season indeed for someone who had knocked on the doors of
M-League teams the past few years while playing for the Malay Mail.
In retrospect, Imran got his first team break when regular leftback
Ahmad Faisal Abdul Aziz left for Malacca Telekoms at the start of the
KL coach Mat Zan Mat Aris tried Imran out in their opening League match
against against Brunei in Bandar Seri Begawan and Imran has not looked
Mat Zan said: "He is the most conistent player in the team. Of the 13
matches has he played, I think he was slightly below par only against
Pahang and Malacca.
"He has been very reliable and gets the job done without any frills. He
is committed and strong and lets nothing get by him."
As an afterthought, Mat Zan said he might even have a problem if Imran
"I don't have a natural leftback and might have to use a make-shift
player if Imran has to miss a match," he said.
Imran picked up a yellow card in his debut against Brunei but managed to
stay out of trouble in the next 12 matches.
But that does not mean he is holding back. Imran remains very
competitive with a sense of fairplay.
Imran said: "All the frustration of waiting for my M-League break has
been worth it.
"I am enjoying every minute with KL and I am surprised I have played in
all our matches so far.
"It is even more rewarding when the team are doing reasonably well
despite being a young side.
"We have worked hard to earn some credible results to be among the top
teams in the League."