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Nicholas Swirad

Outsider Swirad keeping himself grounded despite joining star-studded Selangor

06:29 GMT 16/12/2019
Nicholas Swirad, PKNS v Felda, Super League, 9 Mar 2019
Nicholas Swirad is determined to keep himself grounded, despite having recently joined 33-time Malaysia Cup champions Selangor.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


Nicholas Swirad is determined to keep himself grounded, despite having recently joined 33-time Malaysia Cup champions Selangor ahead of the 2020 season.

The former PKNS FC defender is glad to join the Red Giants, a move he described as the culmination of his five-year footballing journey in his adopted country. 

"I've got to admit, it's been really impressive; the facilities and the staff they've brought on. The people and the players that I've met, they have a good structure. Obviously it doesn't automatically guarantee results but the foundation that they have laid, you can tell it is going to be a good place to be in the future.

"I've spoken to him (head coach B. Satiananthan) a bit last season, and not just the coach. Everyone's been welcoming and there's a positive vibe and energy about the place. In general the philosophy is that we're all one team regardless of our reputations; we're all in this together working towards the same goal. I'm not naming names or places, but my experience in Malaysia has not been too positive, but at Selangor for sure it's been really, really good.

"There will be pressure when things don't go too well but for me I take it as a challenge. It's been quite a journey for the past five years for me, and I believe I'm at Selangor because I've tried to embrace the ups and downs, it's all part of the journey. There's pressure, but it's the kind of pressure that I welcome," said Swirad when met by Goal during the Selangor Football Day last Saturday.

The Manchester-born player is aware that he is joining Selangor at the same time as a number of big-name signings such as Malaysia star Brendan Gan and Singapore international Safuwan Baharudin, but he is determined to not let the hype get to him.

"They're all human beings at the end of the day," remarked Swirad. "In a way, it's a good thing for me to come from outside of Malaysian football. With all due respect, I come for Manchester but I know where I am in the world and the level I've been playing at, you know what I mean?

"So when I arrived in Malaysia I didn't get carried away because we're not playing at the highest level. I'm here just trying to enjoy it. The main thing for me is what's inside and they (his Selangor teammates) are good people. I don't see them as big names, we're all just the same people, to be honest."

And when asked about his national team chances, the 28-year old defender responded in the same manner, preferring to instead focus his performance on club football level.

He had received a call-up from Malaysia boss Tan Cheng Hoe ahead of the Airmarine Cup back in March, but an injury denied his Malaysia debut hopes, and he never received another call-up on a year the Harimau Malaya showed marked improvements. 

"With the national team I was mainly injured, that happens in football. Within what I can control I am happy with the way the season went personally.

"If another call-up happens it happens, because playing for the national team doesn't only require you to play well, there are other factors involved. All I'm gonna do is focus on performing every week, and if it happens then great, if not, it's all good," explained the former Melaka United player.

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