Shakir Hamzah was Singapore’s best player in 2018 – Kedah FA coach Aidil Sharin

Kedah defender Shakir Hamzah
Kelvin Leong Kelvin Leong

Newly-minted Kedah FA coach Aidil Sharin reckons his second import signing Shakir Hamzah was Singapore’s best player at club and international level this season.

The Singapore tactician will lead the Canaries into battle for the 2019 Malaysia Super League (MSL) campaign and has been busy recruiting new players for the season ahead.

First through the door was former Army United playmaker Anmar Almubaraki. The Iraqi came through the FC Twente youth system and will be the attacking lynchpin for Kedah.

OFFICIAL: Singapore international Shakir Hamzah joins Kedah FA in Malaysia

Aidil is expected to bring in Mitra Kukar striker Fernando Rodriguez but it is in defence where he has made the biggest moves.

Borneo FC centre-back Renan Alves will partner Singapore defender Shakir to form a new-look pairing in the heart of the Kedah defence.

Kedah FA coach Aidil Sharin

Shakir, 26, signed on the dotted line last week and will become the first Singaporean star to don the green and yellow strip since V. Sundramoorthy.

“Shakir was definitely a priority for me when I took up this role at Kedah and I’m happy to have him in the squad,” Aidil admitted to FOX Sports Asia.

“The reason we wanted him was because based on his performances this year, he is the best player in Singapore at the moment.

“His work rate and defensive stability is hard to find nowadays in Singapore and even Southeast Asia.

“I’ve known him since he was 13 and while a lot of coaches have had a hard time with him, he has been nothing but superb under me and has done his job really well. Hopefully, we’ll have a good campaign together in Malaysia.”

While Aidil’s priority to fill up the import slots, the former Home United coach has also made moves to strengthen the local roster with Syahrul Azwari, Shahrul Igwan, N. Thanabalan and Azamuddin Akil just some of the new faces at the club.

Kedah are aiming to rebound from a disappointing 2018 campaign where they finished sixth in the MSL. Aidil will hope to bring silverware to the club, something that has not happened since they lifted the FA Cup in 2017.

Photo credit: Kedah FA Facebook