5 Malaysians that could power their clubs to big finishes next season

Vijhay Vick looks at five players who could make a difference at their new outfits, with long-term contracts for locals finally being put into practice in the Malaysia Super League (MSL).

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Azamuddin Akil (Johor Darul Takzim)

Following his exploits with Pahang, a step up for Azamuddin Akil to defending champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) was always in the making.

Azamuddin was a key member of  Zainal Abidin Hassan men's success over the last couple of seasons. His nine goals in the 2012 Malaysia Premier League (MPL) – the best haul among his teammates – helped Pahang secure promotion to the top flight.

His form that season convinced former Malaysia coach K. Rajagopal, and Azamuddin has been a regular part of his country's squad since March 2012.

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The right winger’s pace, coupled with R. Gopinathan’s bursts on the opposite flank, then provided the impetus for Pahang’s consecutive Malaysia Cup wins in 2013 and 2014, as well as their FA Cup triumph in 2014.  

The 30-year-old’s speed and competitiveness are his biggest assets and that is something the Southern Tigers will look to take maximum advantage of.

Azamuddin will have to battle Nazrin Nawi, S. Chanthuru, S. Kunanlan and even veteran Amri Yahyah for a starting place next term. But with the club fighting for silverware on four fronts next season, the fleet-footed forward can feel reasonably assured of at least some game time.