Afiq ready to step up for Kelantan

Kelantan striker Afiq Azmi has vowed he will give it his all on Saturday if he is called upon to play in the Malaysia Cup final against ATM.

 Malaysia Cup: ATM vs Kelantan

By Gabriel Tan

The Red Warriors, who have already won the Super League and the FA Cup this season, will be looking to complete the domestic treble at the Shah Alam Stadium this weekend, a feat only Kedah have achieved back in 2007 and 2008.

While they enter the game as slight favourites, their hopes of victory were handed a real blow in their semi-final second leg against Selangor after key players Mohammed Ghaddar and Norfarhan Muhammad both picked up bookings that will rule them out of the final.

Ghaddar in particular has been integral for Kelantan this season, having scored 21 goals in all competition, but while they will definitely miss him on Saturday, coach Bojan Hodak has a ready-made replacement in Afiq, who has netted four times already in the Malaysia Cup campaign.

Although the 23-year-old, who is on loan from Kuala Lumpur, is not sure if he will be given the nod by Hodak, he has vowed to do his best if afforded the chance.

"Even though Ghaddar is suspended, I'm not sure if I will definitely be handed a place in the starting XI," Afiq told ESPNSTAR.com in an exclusive interview.

"But if I do start, I will give it my all and do everything to help us win the trophy."

The lanky striker also revealed that the mood at the Sultan Mohammad IV Stadium remains upbeat despite the pressure of aiming to become only the second team in the history of Malaysian football to complete the treble.

"The team is confident ahead of Saturday's game, where we will be looking to win our third trophy of the season," he added. "We will definitely try our best and give 100%, although it won't be an easy game.

"The spirit in the dressing room is excellent. During training, everyone knows when to be serious and when to relax a little, so that's been very positive."

Afiq was part of the Kuala Lumpur side that were relegated from the Super League earlier in the year after finishing bottom of the table, and speculation has been rife he will be playing for a new club in 2013.

While the player himself isn't sure if that club will be Kelantan, he admits the prospect of permanently plying his trade at one of the country's biggest teams is something he would have to consider.

"I'm still not sure if my current loan deal will be made permanent," Afiq revealed. "That is something that we'll just have to wait and see.

"If the offer does arrive, I will have to think about if. But for now, I'm only focused on Saturday's final."

Afiq ended the league campaign as Kuala Lumpur's joint top-scorer alongside Zakaria Charara after netting four times.



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