Khairul Fahmi, also known as Apek, was once heralded as the Malaysia’s saviour after he made a great penalty save against Indonesia back in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup final 2010 that helped Datuk K. Rajagopal’s men lift the trophy that year.
Just a week ago, Apek once again duplicated his heroics, but this time for Kelantan as he made two wonderful saves in the 2013 Malaysia Cup semifinal against ATM in Kota Bharu.
Those acts earned the 24-year-old a nomination for Goal Southeast Asia Player of the Week and he was more than delighted even though he didn’t win the top award.
Apek exclusively told Goal Malaysia: “I am honoured to be in the list.
“It really means something for me and the team.
“Plus, getting [the nomination] ahead of the final against Pahang [this Sunday] should be a great boost for us to continue the momentum and present the cup to the fans.”
The two time Malaysia Cup winner also gave credit to his teammates who didn’t give up despite facing a tough ATM side in the semifinals.
“If there’s anybody for me to thank, it would be my teammates, all of them,” Fahmi added.
“Our defenders played a really good game which helped me a lot at the back and our strike force didn’t stop hunting for goals that we were looking for.”
When asked about his fifth appearance in the final with Kelantan, he said: “We are in good shape to retain the title.
“Everyone is happy to play in the final again, and if we win, that will absolutely be for the fans who didn’t stop cheering for us since the beginning of the season.”
The national custodian is disappointed that the Red Warriors will be without Obinna Nwaneri this Sunday but pointed out that there are good replacements.
“Obinna will be missed in front of me, but we do have players to take his place and whoever he is, I’m sure he’ll never disappoint us,” Fahmi enthused.
Kelantan have beaten Pahang in the course of the 2013 Malaysia Cup when both sides met in the group stages but Fahmi remains wary of the threat that the Tok Gajah possess.
He added: “Pahang are a good team even though we beat them before, but this match will be absolutely different.
“I can see their progress within these few matches and there are several players that we need to keep our eyes on like, Matias Conti, Alex (Azamuddin Akil) and Gopinathan.”