One-on-One: Fadhil Salim - National team call-up would be an honour

The Cheetahs custodian spoke of the new mentality that coach Alex Weaver is trying to instill at the Hougang-based club and his hopes of playing for Singapore
By Khalis Rifhan

Having made an impressive debut with Woodlands Wellington in 2002, Fadhil Salim soon found his way to the Court Young Lions team before making the move to then Sengkang Punggol in 2010.

Sengkang has since been renamed to Hougang United and Fadhil has been feeling comfortable at the Hougang stadium, and settling into a sense of attachment to the club. 

“Hougang is like a second home for me, we meet almost every day," said Fadhil.

"The bonding we have is something that I can’t find anywhere else. The chairman, management, coaches and players are there for you.”

With the club appointing yet a new coach this season – their third in four years – Fadhil reveals that the new man at the helm, Alex Weaver, has been cultivating a new mentality at the club. 

“The coach has us talking about ‘excellence’ with anything we do and that is the target – whether it is the next pass in the game, next training session, or the next game," he added.

"We want to strive for excellence so we are always improving. We don’t need to talk about league position because, if we are focusing on getting better performance that will happen naturally.” 

But while a national team call-up has eluded Fadhil, despite putting in a consistent performance in the league, the goalkeeper is still clinging on to hopes that he would be called up to represent the Lions one day.

“It is always an honour if I can get a call up to the national team," he said with a tinge of hope.

"But for now I will try my best to play well for my team if I get a call-up it will be a bonus for me.

“Gialuigi Buffon is someone whom I admire a lot. The way he plays and still to be playing at his age, which is something which I hope to emulate in my career.”

Not forgetting the support shown by the clubs’ faithful, Fadhil said that he appreciates what the supporters have been doing for the club, standing behind the team regardless of the result: "What the Hools has been doing for us is wonderful. It is something which we can’t buy. Their support really makes me and the team give our best till the last minute of every game.”

“I would like to thank them for what they have done and hope they will keep the Hougang Hools flag flying high.”