High-flying Amirizwan eyeing cup glory

It has been a year to remember for Malaysia international Amirizwan Taj Tajuddin following a successful first season at ATM.

Football News: Amirizwan Taj Tajuddin, ATM

By Gabriel Tan

However, there could be an even bigger reason for celebration on Saturday should the Armed Forces beat Kelantan in the final of the Malaysia Cup final at the Shah Alam Stadium.

Amirizwan joined ATM at the start of the year after three seasons with UiTM and immediately tasted success after helping his side win the Malaysia Premier League, and gain promotion to the Super League in the process.

Their league success has since continued in the Malaysia Cup where, after progressing from a tricky group containing Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah and seeing off Negri Sembilan and LIONSXII in the knockout round, they are now just one game away from winning the competition for the first time in their history.

While Amirizwan has had to settle for a place on the bench in recent weeks, the suspension of Irwan Fadzli Idrus means he is likely to start alongside international colleague Aidil Zafuan in the heart of the ATM defence.

And the 26-year-old admits his rise from plying his trade in the third tier of Malaysian football to playing in a Malaysia Cup final has been beyond his wildest dreams.

"I am very happy with ATM are now in the final," he told ESPNSTAR.com exclusively.

"Personally, I feel lucky as this is my first year with the club and we have already won the Premier League and are now in the final of the Malaysia Cup. It's unbelievable.

"Even many who have played in the Super League for years have not had the chance to reach the final of the Malaysia Cup and for that, I'm thankful."

ATM enter Saturday's clash as slight underdogs given they'll be coming up against a team who have already won the Super League and FA Cup this season, and also made the quarter-finals of the AFC Cup.

Nonetheless, while he admits his side will be up against 'great' opponents, he has backed his side to match them.

"We all know Kelantan are a great team," Amirizwan added. "They are the champions of the Super League and the FA Cup this year.

"They are a strong team with the players they have. But of course, I believe ATM can match them and win."

Amirizwan will be hoping a solid display at the weekend will convince Malaysia coach K. Rajagobal that he deserves a spot in the squad for next month's AFF Suzuki Cup.

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