The Young Gun – Hazzuwan Halim, Balestier Khalsa

Young Balestier Khalsa winger Hazzuwan Halim is hungry for more of the same after a breakthrough season with the Tigers last term. 

Hazzuwan first made his S.League debut with the now-defunct Tanjong Pagar United in 2012, but had his professional career curtailed by the mandatory two years of National Service (NS)

Following his completion of NS last March, the 22-year-old returned to play for Balestier’s Prime League side.

Of course one of my targets is to make it to the national team

It then came as some surprise when he ended up playing a big part in the Tigers’ surprise title push – making 15 league appearances in total.

Reflecting on the past year, Hazzuwan was understandably pleased with his individual progress.

“It’s a great experience to be part of a title-chasing squad and playing amongst the senior players,” he told FourFourTwo.

“As the season went along, I could feel myself improving in my overall play – especially in terms of composure in tight situations.

“I have to thank coach Marko (Kraljevic) for having so much faith in me and giving me all these opportunities to play.”

After the successful 2015 campaign, Hazzuwan has been promoted to the club’s S.League squad.

Jostling with the likes of new signings Fazli Ayob and Jamil Ali for positions on the wings, the youngster knows he needs to up his game further in order to get regular playing time.

“Last season was good, but I cannot afford to slack and rest on my laurels,” he reflected. “I know I have a lot more to learn and I have to push harder to help our team achieve more success.

“I need to improve further in terms of bravery and speed; I hope to be involved in the game more in my role as a winger and whip in better crosses for the strikers to capitalise.”

Apart from cementing a starting spot for his club, Hazzuwan is also intent on impressing the national selectors.

Last November, the winger was drafted to train with the Singapore under-21 squad for The Newspaper Cup in Vietnam, but was left out of the final squad.

“Of course one of my targets is to make it to the national team one day,” he said.

“I know it’ll be a long road ahead which takes a lot of hard work, but I’m willing to put in the hard work to impress the national team coach (Bernd Stange) and the rest of his coaching staff.”

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Photo: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo