The Young Gun: Adam Nor Azlin, Selangor

Adam Nor Azlin has received praise from new coach Zainal Abidin Hassan, who told Vijhay Vick of his plans to use the former Harimau Muda midfielder as an impact player.

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Zainal may not know his starting 11 yet, but one thing he has already planned is how to use youngster Adam Nor Azlin (seen above, far right).

I told him that if he keeps working hard, he’ll be in my plans this season

- Zainal Abidin Hassan

When he signed for Selangor last month, the 20-year-old probably expected to be shipped to the Project 2017 squad in preparation for the 2017 SEA Games on home soil. Now that plans for a full-time project squad have been shelved, however, he will remain with Selangor.

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Nazmi Faiz Mansor and Hafiz Kamal are expected to start matches while the likes of S. Veenod, Adam and former Harimau Muda teammate Saiful Ridzuwan Selamat wait in line.

“He is showing some good touches … it must be the exposure he has received with Harimau Muda,” said Zainal.

“I see him as a trump card to have. I believe he could make the step up to the Malaysia league (MSL). He has the energy too, like Veenod. I told him that if he keeps working hard, he’ll be in my plans this season despite being young.”

Adam was handpicked as a 16-year-old by former Harimau Muda coach Ong Kim Swee towards the end of 2012.

He remained part of Ong’s squad for the European stint in 2013 and the Queensland National Premier League in 2014 before joining Harimau Muda B in the S.League last year.

Extremely versatile, he can also play as a defender or second striker. He was also called to the national team when Ong took charge on an interim basis in September.

Photo courtesy of Twitter