Madhu embraces new responsibilities at Negeri Sembilan

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Singaporean international Madhu Mohana makes the small leap across the causeway with a big move back into Malaysian football with Negeri Sembilan.

After spending his entire footballing life with Singaporean teams, Madhu has finally made the big decision to play abroad for the first time in career. Starting out in 2009, the now 26-year-old has spent eight years of his career with various Singaporean teams but is one on the books of Negeri Sembilan for the 2018 season.

Having been part of the Lionx XII team that played in the Malaysian Super League, Madhu is no stranger to the league and the centre back is confident that his past experience will put him in good stead ahead of the coming season. 

After four seasons in the lower division, Negeri Sembilan are finally back among the elite in Malaysian football albeit not via the normal route of winning promotion on their own.

"I feel it's the right time for me to move, especially at the age that I am and see where I can go from here. Negeri Sembilan because I have a great agent who had contacts here and I'm quite fortunate to be here. The team has been really welcoming to me and so far it has been a good move." 

"First I spoke to the coach and my agent. It was a bit of a wait, like one month. It was my off season and I was on holidays but I couldn't really concentrate on my holidays until everything was settled. The waiting paid off as I didn't rush and sign for a Singaporean team.

"I've tasted Malaysian football for four years from 2012 to 2015 and I was actually playing regularly. So I'm not someone new to the league. I find this league more aggressive, the hunger to win is more and the crowd is always behind us. I remember those days when I played in Paroi and it was quite intimidating actually. I can only wish that the S-League has that kind of crowd," Madhu told Goal in an interview.

Madhu Mohana Singapore U23 12012013

Madhu and probably N. Thanabalan aside, this new Negeri team would not be one that most fans will know too closely. Fakhrul Aiman has moved from Felda United while the experienced Fauzan Dzulkifli joined from PKNS, otherwise it's a team full of youngsters.

Life at the top table can be hard for the inexperienced and that is where Madhu knows that his responsibility will lie. Having been a feature of the Singapore national team for several years, Madhu is ready to be the leader this time around and help pass on what he has learned to his new team mates.

"If you look at the team, there are a lot of youngsters. My job is not to come here and shake leg, then go back. I have to guide them. There are not many national team players here but if we work as a team, we can do it. If we talk about pressure wise, yes the pressure is on me. But I should be use to it because I'm 26 with eight year of professional football behind me now."

"I will bring what I have to the table and hope the rest of the team also give them all. The management has not put a high expectations on the team but us players will try to aim as high as possible and not just go through the motions," added Madhu.

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