FOOTBALL: Nazmi scores for Beira-Mar in friendly
NAZMI Faiz Mansor earned himself the perfect belated birthday gift, two days after he turned 18, when he scored a goal for SC Beira-Mar in their 3-0 win over Lourosa in an under-19 friendly match on Saturday.
The midfielder was inspired throughout the match after the Malaysian signed a three-year permanent deal with the club five days ago.
He officially became the first local to earn a contract in Portugal but the youngster is unlikely to play for the club's senior team in the Portuguese Premier League this season.
A member of the national under-23 squad, Nazmi had first signed a pre-contract agreement with Beira-Mar on May 19 in accordance with Fifa's rules on underage players.
Nazmi, who reported for training on July 6, will debut for the youth team in the upcoming Sagres League (Aveiro district).
Beira-Mar's youth coach Luis Antonio told the club's official website that his aim is to groom his young players for senior team action.
"Our new signings (including Nazmi) will gain from this exposure as my aim is to help them eventually play for the first team," said Antonio.
Nazmi will, however, continue to train with the first team.
National under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee said Nazmi will learn a lot from playing for the club's youth team in the lower division.
"It is a good move by the club as Nazmi needs to gain confidence by playing in as many matches before he makes his senior debut," said Kim Swee recently.
"A club in Europe will never rush into fielding their youth players for first-team action without preparing them accordingly. Nazmi, of course, needs to prove himself first."
The former student of Bukit Jalil Sports School first represented Young Tigers 'B' before Kim Swee included him in his Sea Games squad and later the Olympic side.
Nazmi also made a huge impression in both competitions and later shone in the S-League with the Young Tigers 'A' squad. By Ajitpal Singh