The mystery over Danial Amier’s next destination after Felda United was finally revealed on Wednesday and the Malaysian international will join the legion of superstars at Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in the 2021 season. Starting out with Frenz United back in 2014, he soon moved to Felda when the former went out of business and now could possibly replicate the same scenario if as expected the latter cease to compete in the elite level next year.
Most would remember his magnificent striker for Malaysia Under-23 in the 2018 AFC U23 Championship against Saudi Arabia that sent Ong Kim Swee’s side into the knockout stage of the competition. Still only 23 years of age, Danial has his best years ahead of him, and potentially do have the capability to be one of best central midfielders in the country as well becoming a fulcrum of Harimau Malaya.
So just what does the move to the 7-time Malaysia Super League champions mean for Danial? Goal examine the move in detail.
Bigger and better exposure
Before even thinking about the competition wise, Danial will definitely profit from the most professional environment any team could offer in Malaysia. A multitude of world-class infrastructure and equipment ranging from training purpose to recovery, he will have it all available to him.
Then there’s the on the pitch exposure where he will be asked to perform at a higher level and he will have to learn what is required to be at a club where winning is a force of habit. Danial will have to adapt mentally to the culture of title challengers and not crumble under high expectations.
It doesn’t look like JDT will be relinquishing their Super League title anytime soon and that means annual participation in the AFC Champions League against the best in Asia, another avenue for Danial to pick up valuable experience whether he’s on the pitch or watching from the bench.
Raising his game to the next level
He will have no choice if he wants game time in an already super-competitive environment at the Southern Tigers. In midfield alone he will have to challenge Hariss Harun, Ignacio Insa, Afiq Fazail, Syamer Kutty Abba, Nazmi Faiz, Liridon Krasniqi, Gary Steven Robbat and Leandro Velazquez for a limited number of slots in the starting line-up.
There’s very little chance for Danial to think that he can just waltz straight into a starting berth right from the start with so many more experienced players ahead of him waiting in the queue. It’s sink or swim time for him when he joins up with his new teammates.
In all likelihood, Danial’s playing time will probably be lesser than what he’s used to in the 2020 season where he was first choice for Felda when fit. But that shouldn’t curtailed his development as a player as can be seen with Nazmi and Syamer, who both may not have reached the great heights expected of them but has no doubt improved since joining JDT.
Danial is a player with great technical abilities and can look very elegant on the ball but can sometimes get flustered too easily when things don't go his way in a game. He is by no means a finished article and the coaching team at JDT could definitely improve him as a player.
Earning a bigger role with the national team
Forced and helped to improve in both his game and his mental toughness means Danial will gradually be a better player that would probably win a fair few trophies in his time with JDT. But as well, the improvement gained from this move could also potentially see him getting a more prominent role with the Malaysia national team.
When the international matches resume for Tan Cheng Hoe and the senior team, that means the resumption of the World Cup qualification with tough matches away to United Arab Emirates and Thailand still to be played. As it stands, Danial could well end up being called up but he’ll probably be the third or fourth choice for a starting midfield role.
The challenge will be on him to jump straight into the thick of things at JDT in the upcoming new season and show that he can make it a very difficult choice for Cheng Hoe when selecting his next squad or even starting line-up.