Geylang International FC

GUFC interviews Hafiz!

 

Being a combative centre-back, injuries are quite the norm for Abdul Hafiz B Haron. Even though he’s currently nursing a crack on his left ankle, Hafiz was all smiles watching his teammates train at the pitch of ITE Simei.

“I got this injury from the match against NFA U-15 about 2 weeks ago. The opponent came in with a flying tackle and unfortunately, my ankle got caught. It’s quite a downer not being able to participate in trainings but I really look forward to playing again!” Hafiz tells GUFC.

Abdul Hafiz B Haron, 16, currently attends Springfield Secondary School at Tampines. He has been playing for Springfield’s football team since Secondary 1 and joined GUFC’s COE team when he was 15 years old under then coach, Robert Lim.

“Back then I was told that the GUFC’s U-14 team was open for trials so I gave it a shot and got selected. However, after awhile, I found it really hard to juggle football and my studies so I actually took a break for a few months. But I guessed I really miss football so here I am again!”

Hafiz, a versatile defender, mainly plays as a centre back for the U-16 team but can play anywhere along the backline and the midfield. The strengths of his games are his abilities to defend well on 1-on-1 situations and also possess an enduring stamina.  His comfort on the ball makes him an ideal sweeper in the team.

Currently with 16 points after 11 matches, GUFC’s U-16 team is 5th in the table standings with 7 matches to play.

When asked what does Hafiz thinks of the current GUFC’s U-16 team, he replied “Honestly, though we’re 5th in the table, I think we have the best team in the league. However, due to certain commitments, certain players have difficulties attending trainings. As a result, when you don’t attend trainings; you’d miss out a lot. For example, when coach wants to play a certain formation during the match, players who didn’t attend the training session wouldn’t be able to understand the set plays.”

“Also, I feel that we need to work on our fitness and touches more. I wish that trainings could be scheduled more often but due to our school commitments, we also have to learn to strike a balance. It’s really not easy.”

When asked who he thinks is the best player in the team, Hafiz laughs “Well…this is a tricky question. The players here are all good but if I have to pick one, I’ll say Adam, my fellow centre-back. We work really well in the defence together and I feel that we really have an understanding in the way we play the game. We will cover for each other whenever necessary and I think that’s very important in a formidable defence.”

Other than playing football semi-professionally, Hafiz is much like other kids his age. He wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to get his hands on his Playstation 2 console whenever he has free time outside studies and football.

“I like to play video games a lot! My favourite games are FIFA 12 and Call of Duty!” Hafiz said with much excitement.

“Also, when I have free time, I like to spend my time with my friends and family. They’re the people who really bring the joy to my life. And… I also like to cook! I’ll watch my mom prepare the dishes and pick up a skill or two from her!”

Having spent also two years in GUFC’s COE, Hafiz is no stranger to the club’s centre of excellence programme. Initially playing under coach U-14 coach, Sugunan Perianan, he is now playing in the U-16 side under Coach Khidhir Khamis.

“Coach Khidhir has been a fantastic mentor for me. Though he is very strict in trainings and during matches, I know that he’s a very kind person. He will do almost anything for us and I understand that he pushes us because he really wants us to achieve something with our time at the club. He also has very good man-management skills. There was once, he coached me individually to help me improve my 1 on 1 defending skills. I’ve truly learn a lot from him,” Hafiz tells GUFC.

“So after all that you’ve learnt, what do you hope to achieve for yourself ultimately?” I asked Hafiz.

“Well, I hope to eventually make it to the Prime League team and also play for the National U23 team. It has always been my aim to represent the country and though I’ve still got much work to do, I’m working hard every single day to make sure I get there eventually.”

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