Haziq relishing opportunity to learn from the best

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Haziq Nadzli is confident that he can give Ifwat Akmal a run for the number 1 spot in Malaysia U22

Haziq Nadzli is determined to earn his way into the starting line-up at Malaysia U-22 after a big half a year for the goal keeper since moving from PDRM to Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT).

The 19-year-old who had a breakthrough year in 2016 with The Cops, playing constant football in the Super League - is one of four goalkeepers in the U22 squad. Together with Ifwat Akmal, Ahmad Syihan and Amierul Hakimi - all four will be looking to impress Datuk Ong Kim Swee in the upcoming playing tour in China.

Haziq spoke to Goal and expressed his motivation to get the number 1 jersey even though on paper, he lacks in experience what others in the squad have.

"First of all, I'm grateful to the coach for selecting me. If I'm given a chance, I'll definitely do my best. We know that Ifwat has already played in a few finals. It's a challenge for me to fight with him for a place to play," said Haziq.

In his short time with his new club, Haziq has only started two matches but both of them have come in the AFC Cup against Boeung Ket and Magwe FC. That, an experience he holds that towers over the others in the U22 squad.

Of course the lack of playing time is something that doesn't sit down well with Haziq as any professional footballer would want their names on the starting team sheet. However, he is aware of the challenges that comes with being in the same team as Farizal Marlias and Izham Tarmizi.

But they are not the only ones that helped Haziq to decide on the move to JDT as there's one more person there that got him excited about the move.

"The feeling is a bit different of course [this season and last season]. I played a lot last year but I've only played twice this year. I moved there because they are the best club in Malaysia and it's an opportunity for me to learn from the keepers there."

"I've learned a lot from Farizal and Izham and they have been helpful with the command and my movement. I'm also learning from my idol in Khairul Azman.

"It's a different experience playing at the AFC Cup, I need to keep improving and focus on my target," added Haziq.

It would not be easy for Haziq to dispose of players who are actually seeing more minutes on the pitch than he has this season. But both JDT and Ong has seen the talent that Haziq has and if he continues to progress in the same trajectory, there's every possibility that he could feature prominently for the U22. 

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