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KELANTAN’S Norshahrul Idlan Talaha has admitted that he wishes to follow in the footsteps of the late Mokhtar Dahari after been voted the league’s most valuable player (MVP) for the second straight year yesterday.
He finished ahead of club-mate and goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat and Selangor midfielder Safiq Rahim in a poll of coaches for the award, renamed the SuperMokh MVP award.
The striker was also voted the league’s best striker for the second successive year at the 100Plus-Astro Arena-FAM National Football Awards.
“I’d like to thank all the people who voted for me, and all my teammates,” said the 25-year-old in Shah Alam yesterday.
“I keep all these awards at home and I still have some space for more. It's an honour to be so successful and to come up with the goods at the right time — thanks to my teammates for helping me achieve this.”
Norshahrul, who scored 17 goals this season, became a hit in local football after signing on for Kelantan in 2009, where he went on to win Super League and Malaysia Cup titles
He has also collected two titles at the international football — the 2009 Sea Games gold medal and last year’s AFF Cup.
The Besut-born player, however, had a mixed outing with the national team this year due to injuries.
Now fitter, Norshahrul is determined to improve and hopefully be as great as Mokhtar.
“I want to be just like Mokhtar. He did great things and I want to emulate him,” he said.
He admitted that his primary task next season was to help Malaysia retain the AFF Cup.
“We must work collectively to achieve this goal. I hope to play a big part in that,” added Norshahrul.
Khairul Fahmi, as expected, retained his best goalkeeper award while Safiq, who is in Cardiff for a trial, was named best midfielder.
ROLL OF HONOUR — SuperMokh Most Valuable Player: Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Kelantan); Best Goalkeeper: Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Kelantan); Best Defender: Norhafiz Zamani Misbah (Negri Sembilan); Best Midfielder: Safiq Rahim (Selangor); Best Striker: Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Kelantan); Most Promising Player: Wan Zack Haikal Wan Noor (Young Tigers); Best Coach: Irfan Bakti (Terengganu); Best FA: Selangor; Best Club: PKNS FC.