Ever since Adam Nor Azlin broke through the age-groups in Malaysian football, he could be seen being deployed all over the pitch from a striker to a midfielder to a defender, whether that's in the middle of the pitch or at the flanks. His versatility is a great asset but it seems that he has finally found his true calling as a centre back.
A stalwart for the previous incarnation of the Malaysia Under-23 and Selangor, Adam's performance in the heart of his team's defence earned him a big move to the home of Super League champions, Johor Darul Ta'zim as well as progression to the senior Malaysia national team. A regular now with Tan Cheng Hoe's team, Adam has many traits that his coaches at club and country seek for.
Being a defender means having to battle against many types of players from the strong muscular ones to the fast and speedy ones. Therefore Adam has to not only be strong in standing his ground but must also possess the required speed burst over short and long distances to ensure that his goal is constantly protected.
"Having to constantly sprint after a speedy striker, I need to ensure I’m on my toes, close to my opponents at all times. The X has a Speedmesh upper material which comes with an aerodynamic rib structure that prevents air friction when I’m sprinting across the pitch, granting me added speed when chasing a striker," says a confident Adam.
In the last three years alone, the experience that Adam has gained in his footballing life has been immense. From the AFC U23 Championship to the AFF Championship, to winning the Super League with JDT and featuring in the greatest stage of club football in Asia, the AFC Champions League - the learning curve has been huge for Adam.
The 23-year-old player takes it all in his stride and is like a sponge absorbing the whole experience to better himself as a player. Yet one part of his game that is fast becoming a trademark for him is his ability to not only put in last-minute challenges but also winning those crucial challenges and saved his team in the process.
It is Adam's superhero strength, the reading of the game to choose the right moment and timing to dive in for the challenge or a tackle. Any small error and his team will be put under difficult position when a free kick or penalty is conceded but Adam's accuracy in almost all of those challenges are impeccable.
"Making tackles and challenges are indeed part and parcel of being a centre back, and with that it is crucial that I have a pair of boots that stay on my feet and keep me grounded despite my quick and sudden movements. The Speedframe outsole on the X boots allows me to be quick and the minimalistic," he added.