The young gun: Ridzuan Abdunloh Pula, Felda United

Former Harimau Muda winger Ridzuan Abdunloh Pula is Felda United coach Irfan Bakti Abu Salim’s pick of youngsters to make the step-up into first team football in the 2016 Malaysia Super League season.

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Just like Shahrul Saad before him in 2015, Ridzuan isn’t expected to walk into the starting 11. Shahrul only broke into the first team midway through the season in an unfamiliar holding midfield role as veteran Shukor Adan was eased into defence to last the pace.

He is fast, can operate on both flanks and has some goals in him

Now, Irfan feels the same could well happen for the Ridzuan, who is of Thai ancestry.

“He is showing promise in training and I am grateful to Kedah for offering his services. He was supposed to sign for Kedah after Harimau Muda were disbanded in November but there was no place in the squad,” said Irfan.

“We jumped at the chance to take him because of his potential and we want some young legs in the squad. He is fast, can operate on both flanks and has some goals in him.”

The 21-year-old Bukit Jalil Sports School product signed for Harimau Muda B in 2011 and his seven goals in the 2013 S.League – the club’s best – let to him being promoted to Harimau Muda A to play in the 2014 Queensland National Premier League.

Ridzuan, who has never played in the SEA Games, was expected to be Malaysia’s core in the 2017 edition. But he may have missed his chance as there is a strong likelihood the under-23 competition could be changed to an under-21 or under-22 tournament. Ridzuan turns 23 next year.

Photo courtesy of Twitter