Harry Novillo said ambition was his driving factor to sign for Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), after the new foreign capture scored on his debut to rescue a point against Selangor FA on Saturday.
Novillo turned in an expert header from close range to give the Southern Tigers a 2-2 draw against the Red Giants, a result which preserves their five-point lead at the Malaysia Super League (MSL) summit.
“I had other offers from Malaysia, but if I went somewhere else I would be crazy. I had ambition to play for the best, and this club has everything you need from crowd, atmosphere to professionalism,” Novillo told FOX Sports Asia.
“All eyes are on you if you don’t work hard as a new player. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, as long as you keep your head down and work hard, you will do well. At the moment, no one is better than JDT.”
“Four (league) titles and counting, that is something. There isn’t much time for adaptation because six months is too late, and you have objectives to bring home. You have to do it now.”
Novillo has certainly endeared himself to the JDT faithful after an impressive shift at the Cheras Stadium.
Keputusan pada perlawanan semalam bukanlah satu keputusan yang baik kerana kami tidak berjaya mendapatkan kemenangan….
The league leaders went ahead through Gonzalo Cabrera’s early goal, before Selangor recovered to take the lead through Saiful Ridzwan Selamat and Rufino Segovia in the space of two minutes.
But Novillo, who was playing behind JDT’s other new striker Jorge Santos Silva, capped a memorable debut with a goal.
JDT head coach Raul Longhi was also pleased with his new forward.
“Novillo had a fantastic first game. He had a good performance, and worked hard for the team and got a goal.”
The former Lyon man has had time to acclimatize to the team after arriving in late March from United Arab Emirates’ Baniyas Club.
JDT will head into a mini MSL break with a five point cushion after their closest rivals Perak FA could only manage a goalless draw against Melaka United.
The Mousedeers gave former Kelantan goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat his debut, and the custodian impressed with a shutout despite hardly getting competitive action this season.
Photo credit: Johor Southern Tigers Facebook