Singapore winger Faris Ramli has come out and reiterated one simple fact all professional footballers must do if they want to progress in their career, which is to step out of their comfort zone.
“I’m not saying the Singapore league is bad, it is a good level but challenging yourself as a foreign player is different than playing in your own league, in your own country,” Faris told FOX Sports Asia.
“The reason I stepped out of my comfort zone (to play in Malaysia) was because I wanted to challenge myself. I did well with Home United last season, but it was time to pit myself against players and teams I didn’t know.”
Faris was indeed the star for the Protectors in 2017, scoring 20 goals to help club finish third in the league.
While the goals have not flowed as freely in the MSL, Faris has netted five and counting for PKNS so far.
He is one of the few Singaporeans flourishing in Malaysia, along with Safuwan Baharudin and Hariss Harun.
Faris knows the perils of being an import player in Malaysia, and an Asean one at that.
“A lot of teams have changed their import players, including the Asean ones. I know some of the Cambodians were unlucky here, but they are back at their league now,” he added.
“I have been doing well personally and I think PKNS saw something in me. The coach trusts me as well, so it’s good.”
Faris admitted he was harbouring hopes of playing for Datuk K. Rajagobal when he was with the Singapore national team, and Raja helming the Malaysians.
He said: “He’s a good tactician and I was wondering when I would play under him. There is no first 11 in his books so every player has got to be ready anytime.”
Faris can further establish himself as one of the finest Asean imports in PKNS history, should he maintain this sort of form.
If the Red Ants can navigate the two-legged FA Cup semifinals against Selangor FA later this month, then another FA Cup final beckons for Faris after winning it with LionsXII in 2015.
The 25-year-old also rallied on his Malaysian counterparts to test their pastures on foreign soil if the opportunity comes.
“If Malaysian players want, they can try for the Thai league, or other leagues. Challenge themselves because I’m doing it too. It definitely made me a better player.”
Curran Ferns is the latest Malaysian to ply his trade in the Thai League after he signed for Sukhothai FC last week.
Photo credit: PKNS Facebook