LionsXII Report Card: Midfield

The season is over for the Malaysian Super League champions and Goal Singapore gives our verdict on how the players have performed, continuing with the midfielders
Isa Halim

The de-facto midfield enforcer of the team, Isa has put in a great shift in every game he has played this season. Charged with shielding his back-four, the no-nonsense terrier has been uncompromising in his role and does his job with no fuss. Not a flashy player but his work was crucial in the side's best defensive record in the league and while underrated by some, Isa's importance is known to all his team-mates and coach.

Hariss Harun

The one-time Singapore football prodigy had a mixed season, where he improved from a relatively poor first half of the campaign to put in better performances towards the end. Capable of running the midfield by himself on his day, sadly such games have been few and far between for Hariss. There is always the expectation that he can do much more with his undoubted talent, although he did raise his game during the Malaysia Cup stages where he scored twice. Perhaps a more advanced role is his true calling.

Faris Ramli
Burst onto the scene this season with a superb display against Pahang FA on his debut, where he scored in a 3-0 win. Singled out for praise by the opposition coach after the game, the winger's tricky dribbling and crossing looked set to be a mainstay of the LionsXII flanks. But National Service issues meant that his appearances were limited and Faris struggled to reproduce the form he first displayed in the rest of the season.

Nazrul Nazari

The former Courts Young Lions winger has featured slightly more often than his compatriot Faris, with dribbling and pace to burn being his main assets. Nazrul's pint-sized physique can be deceptive as he has shown that he is capable of taking on bigger opponents, but his delivery still has room for improvement. Arguably has not been consistent enough as well.

Zulfahmi Arifin

Valued for his passing range and distribution, Zulfahmi has not made as much of an impact as he probably would have liked to during his five league appearances. Admittedly, he was hampered by injury and did put in better showings during his two Malaysia Cup games, where he displayed enough to suggest that he can play a bigger role if he stays fit next season.

Aqhari Abdullah

Despite four appearances each in the league and Cup, the Courts Young Lions graduate struggled to impress both in advanced and deeper midfield roles. Will have to step up his game a whole lot more if he wants to stake a claim for a regular place next season.

Hafiz Sujad

Thrust into the left-back position most often this season, the natural central midfielder has done a commendable job filling in at the back. A willing runner who has a powerful engine, Hafiz has impressed with his workrate and flexibility, as well as a sweet left foot. The youngster finally opened his LionsXII account with a superb long-range strike against Kedah FA after a surging run from midfield, where he was reverted to during the Malaysia Cup. He followed that up with an even better effort from 30 yards against ATM FA, although he could not prevent elimination followng a 4-2 aggregate loss in the quarter-finals. Might just blossom into the complete midfielder if utilised more often in the centre next season.

Safirul Sulaiman

The versatile midfielder started the season well enough as he featured regularly in coach Sundram's plans, but failed to grab his chance. Possesses a good left foot but struggled to impose himself on the opposition and gradually saw less action as the season went on. At 20, Safirul still has time on his side.

Gabriel Quak

The left-footed winger featured mostly from the bench as he found it hard to play himself into Sundram's plans. Did not do himself any favour by largely failing to shine in most of his appearances, with his trickery and skill needing a better end product to complement them. Still, Quak is a talented dribbler and will be an asset with his natural left peg.

Izzdin Shafiq

Another talented passer in the LionsXII's ranks, Izzdin has the physique to compete well in midfield. But he has struggled to get playing time this season and did not particularly stand out when Sundram called upon him. Can appear to be a tad sluggish, and there is much room for improvement next season.