By Kenneth Tan
Set to start in the international friendly between Singapore and Papua New Guinea tonight, the 22-year-old is aiming to grab the opportunity with both hands
SINGAPORE, 6 September 2014: It has not been an easy year for LionsXII forward Shahfiq Ghani.
Only returning to action in March after fracturing his spine during last year’s SEA Games in Myanmar, he struggled to find the form which saw him netting six goals in last year’s Malaysian Super League (MSL)–winning campaign.
Subsequently in July, the youngster went for an operation on his nose to cure his breathing difficulties before going for the National Team’s tour of Austria.
Returning to club action in the recently-concluded Malaysia Cup, he similarly found little joy in front of goal and was left on the bench for the final two Group A fixtures.
However the man himself is keen to put all those disappointments behind him as he looks forward to tonight’s international friendly between Singapore and Papua New Guinea.
“It’s been a difficult year for me,” he told the official LionsXII website after Friday’s training session at Hougang Stadium.
“It’s hard whenever I go for an operation as you need two to three months to recover. However it’s important for me to just keep training and stay fit. I’m really looking forward to this game and I hope I can gain my match fitness back soon.”
Acknowledging inconsistency as his biggest problem, Shahfiq is looking to improve on that aspect as he aims to lock down a starting spot for the national team.
“Football is like that – you can do well for one season and not do so for the next,” he said.
“As a younger player, I think I really need to be more consistent so that I can get back my place in the team and play more football from now onwards.”
This international friendly between Singapore and Papua New Guinea will kick off at 7.30pm at Hougang Stadium tonight.
Fans may purchase their tickets from TicketBooth’s website (www.ticketbooth.com.sg), the 12 TicketBooth outlets, or AXS machines islandwide until 4.00pm. Ticket sales will then resume from 4.30pm onwards at the Hougang Stadium, subject to availability.