Best of the best: FFT’s pick for the Malaysian Football Awards – Part 1
Perak's Hafizul Hakim Khairul Nizam Jothy deserves the award for his rise in 2017 after breaking into the scene the previous year.
Hafizul, who climbed up the ranks to become Malaysia No.1 this year, kept 10 clean sheets in 31 matches as Perak finished third in the Malaysia Super League (MSL) and reached the Malaysia Cup semi-final. Perak had to deal with a change of coach, misfiring frontline and several errors at the back this season, but Hafizul was often at the top of his game.
Farizal Harun is a close second despite recording only five clean sheets and conceding 38 goals in 31 games at Felda United.
Farizal, who still often managed to produce some excellent goalkeeping, has had a weaker defence in front of him compared to the other top goalkeepers in the league and that put him ahead Izham Tarmizi Roslan, who won the MSL title with Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT).
Izham has the best statistics with 10 clean sheets and goals conceded per game ratio compared to Hafizul and Farizal but he has had the luxury of a strong backline and wasn't tested as much as the others.
Others shortlisted: Ahmad Asyraaf Omar (PKNP), Ifwat Akmal Chek Kassim (Kedah), Kaharuddin Abdul Rahman (Negeri), Khairul Azhan Khalid (Selangor), Suffian Abdul Rahman Kungi Raman (Terengganu), Tauffiq Ar Rasyid Johar (PKNS) and Wan Muhammad Azraie Wan Teh (Pahang)