Faris ready to play through pain barrier
Despite winning their first match of the 2015 SEA Games, the Singapore U23s looked far from convincing against the Young Azkals.
Centre-back Sheikh Abdul Hadi proved to be the unlikely hero on a night when the attackers fluffed their lines despite enjoying several opportunities in front of goal.
Speaking to assembled media after the match, Faris acknowledged the amount of improvement needed in order to make it to the semi-finals.
“We do need to brush up on our attacks,” the 22-year-old said.
“We had a lot of chances but it was not our lucky day. I think we need to go back and reflect on ourselves and I have this belief that we will not miss in the next game.”
It has been a tough year for Faris, who has had to juggle between his commitments with the LionsXII and the U23s.
While the rest of the Young Lions resumed centralised training after returning from their Japan training tour, he packed his bags and travelled with the LionsXII to Bukit Jalil where he played a pivotal role in a historic Malaysia FA Cup triumph.
Upon returning to Singapore, he duly rejoined the camp a day later and was involved in their final warm-up friendly against Timor Leste which they won 2-0.
Faris admitted that he was not 100 percent fit, and had sustained an injury in the game against the Philippines.
“It was fatigue and there were a lot of games running through for me,” the 22-year-old said.
“It’s all down to recovering which I tried to my best to do so and deliver today. Unfortunately, I got an injury on my butt and that kind of ended my game.”
Buoyed by a boisterous full-house crowd and the fighting spirit which his teammates had shown, Faris managed to last the 90 minutes – something which he hopes to do for the remaining three group games.
“It’s about the mindset – I thought of the people who came down to support us and also my teammates who have been training very hard,” he explained.
“It’s about helping each other out and my teammates did their best to cover me, so I carried on and did my best regardless of the fatigue.
“I see this team as my family and my brothers, so this fatigue running through my body won’t stop me. Even if I have to give my life for the SEA Games, I will do it.”
Photo: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo