Due to his mixed heritage, there was always a keen interest in how Rodney Celvin Akwensivie do in Malaysian football but his debut outing for PKNS in the 2018 season also opened up greater interest not only from fans but also from the national team.
Ong Kim Swee called up Rodney for his Under-23 training camps in 2018 as the latter broke into K. Rajagopal's Red Ants side, the longer the 2018 season progressed. Nailing down a first team place alongside Zachary Anderson at the expense of the more experienced Azmizi Azmi showed just how far Rodney has come since first turning out for Rajagopal with Sarawak.
Retained for another season, the immensely-built Rodney is looking to build on a relative successful year last season and work to ensure that Rajagopal's trust in him is not misplaced.
"I think this year, I have to repay the faith of the coach and the management for keeping me in the team for another season. I made a promise to myself to give my best for this 2019 season. My target for 2019 is also to get to the national team.
"But as I said before, the first thing and the most important thing is to first do well in all the competitions for PKNS," Rodney told Goal.
Thus far, PKNS have made their choices in the attacking positions with the signings of Gabriel Guerra, Chan Vathanaka and Kpah Sherman to add to the retained Romel Morales. A centre back is yet to be signed, someone who could form a good partnership with Rodney at the heart of PKNS's defence.
If all goes well for Rodney on the club front, there may also be an opportunity for the Malaysian-Ghanaian descent to break into Tan Cheng Hoe's national team now that he no longer qualifies for Ong Kim Swee's Under-23 side.
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The last time Australian defender @taylorreegs was playing in Malaysia, he was a fan-favourite at Negeri Sembilan. He now wants to replicate that at new club @faselangormy. Taylor Regan dahulunya disenangi penyokong semasa bermain bagi pasukan Jang. Kini dia mahu mengulanginya, apabila kembali ke Malaysia dengan Gergasi Merah.