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Ismail returns to develop the next Khairul Fahmi at Kelantan

09:47 GMT+4 23/01/2020
Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, Malaysia, AFF Championship, 11112018
Goalkeeping coach Ismail Chawalit has returned to Kelantan's fold following his stint with Malaysia U-19.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


Kelantan's fortunes these days are not what they used to be, but a return to the top tier is not entirely impossible.

While the Premier League side's management needs to contend with their financial debts, their technical team needs to concentrate on developing their young players, who will spearhead their 2020 campaign.

Fortunately for them, goalkeeping coach Ismail Chawalit has returned to their fold following his stint with Malaysia U-19, and the job of training safe pairs of hands are in, safe hands.

In his previous stint with the Red Warriors, Ismail had helped develop former Malaysia number one Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, who then went on to help the Harimau Malaya capture the 2010 AFF Championship title at the tender age of 21.

Fahmi then helped the East Coast Peninsular Malaysia outfit win the 2011 and 2012 Super League, the 2010 and 2012 Malaysia Cup, and the 2012 and 2013 FA cup. He is currently at Melaka United, having parted ways with Kelantan back in 2018.

Ismail however said that the onus of progressing lies in the goalkeeper themselves.

"The key to a goalkeeper's success is in motivating themselves, and that was what drove Fahmi. I want Kelantan's young goalkeepers to always maintain their drive, to work hard and to stay disciplined.

"My current training methods are the same as those I used to work with him. So the key lies within themselves," said the trainer in an interview published by the club.

He provided his early thoughts regarding the young goalkeepers on their roster.

"For the time being, Fikri Che Soh seems to have the edge over the two other custodians. He has good awareness and reflexes, and communicates well with the defenders. Abdul Arif Abdullah is more composed, but he needs to be braver. Faredzuean Kamaruddin is now only 70 per cent ready.

"Most importantly, these three young goalkeepers must have a good reading of the opposition's game. This ability will help their own game," he explained.

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