Safawi joins up with U22 after a cameo between the sticks

Safawi Rasid, Johor Darul Ta'zim, Ceres, AFC Cup, 04/06/2017
Safawi Rasid ready to work with U22 and find out how he ended up being a goalkeeper

Fresh from keeping a clean sheet against Ceres-Negros FC in the AFC Cup ASEAN zone semi-final second leg, Safawi Rasid turns his attention from Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) to the Malaysia U-22 squad.

Joining training for the first time on Saturday, Safawi quickly assimilated with the rest of the group as they prepare for the upcoming tour of China.

For the former T-Team winger, the change on the U-22 front is something that would be familiar for him, having been called-up to play under Datuk Ong Kim Swee before.

"This is my first day. Before this I've been with him before. It's not a big change for me. I just follow what his instructions and training are," said Safawi.

Since being dropped by Ong in the run-up to the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup, Safawi has moved from the Titans to the Southern Tigers. It's a move that the 20-year-old has relished and happy to have made.

"There's a lot of stars there. I'm still young and it's a big competition to play. Even though I don't play as much but I do get the minutes here and there."

"The training there has helped me to improve myself, especially in terms of my passing and tactical understanding," added Safawi.

Only one goal scored for his new club thus far but the exposure that Safawi has gotten since the move is priceless. The education gained by being involved in Asian Champions League qualifier and the AFC Cup are new frontiers for the Dungun-born player.

JDT went out on away goals rule to Ceres in midweek but chaos in the added time in the second half presented an opportunity for Safawi to perform in an unaccustomed position on the pitch but one that he's more than happy to perform to help his team.

After Farizal Marlias was sent off in the dying minutes of the match, Safawi had to go in goal as JDT had already made three substitutions. 


"We were already behind then and it was five minutes of extra time and there was no choice. I offered and my team mates also asked me to go in goal. Yes, in training I've played around with the position sometimes," explained Safawi.