BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Goal counts down the most promising players from the top competitions in the Malaysian football season in 2017, and here's number 4.
Selangor's financial instability in 2017 meant they had to rely on more young players as compared to the other sides.
Head coach Maniam Pachaiappan generally did well with the team and the young boys promoted from their U21 side, but one name shined brighter than the rest.
19-year old winger Syahmi Safari had tasted senior team football a number of times in the 2016 Malaysia Cup, but in 2017 he shot to the top of the pecking order, following the long injury picked up by Indonesian star Andik Vermansah.
A promising start to the season was capped by his first ever senior competitive goal, when he opened the scoring in their league game against PKNS FC, barely one minute into the match.
Afterwards he remained a starter for the Red Giants, going on to start in 18 out of 19 league matches he appeared in, and amazingly in almost all these matches, he would go on to play until the final whistle, a proof of his fitness.
Syahmi also made one FA Cup appearance and six Malaysia Cup appearances, for a total of 26 appearances.
At the international stage he had played for Malaysia U19 before, but in 2017 he was called up for the first time to the Malaysia U23 squad by head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee, for the AFC U23 Championship qualifiers and the SEA Games.
He did not get to play much in the competitions as he was low in the pecking order in his position, but Kim Swee seems to share Maniam's belief in Syahmi, as he recently listed the teenager in the preliminary training squad for the AFC U23 Championship finals next week.
When he returned from his duties with Malaysia U23, he slotted back in the squad, helping the Red Giants reach the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals and end the season in sixth place, as well as picking up two more goals in all competitions.
Although he lifted no title with the senior side, in October he and his teammates who were still eligible, returned to Selangor's U21 side to help them in the later stages of the President's Cup, eventually lifting the title for the first time since 2008.
Aware of his massive potential, Selangor have reportedly signed him on a five-year contract, and the youngster look to be staying on, at least for the 2018 season.
From today until 28 November, @Goal_MY will be counting down three top five lists for the 2017 Malaysia Super League. Follow our Twitter account and make sure you don't miss it! pic.twitter.com/Ao3MpGkydE — Goal Malaysia (@Goal_MY) November 24, 2017
Check out #5 in the MSL2017 Most Promising Players, and wait for #3 tomorrow!