Striker only lasted a day in India, will not play for Sporting Clube de Goa
SHAHRAZEN Hj Md Said's quest to become the first local footballer to play abroad came to a premature end when he returned home on Thursday.
The DPMM FC striker left Brunei to play in the India League (I-League) 2nd Division's side Sporting Clube de Goa on Monday but was only able to put up with the city for 30 hours.
"I touched down in Goa at 6.50am on Tuesday and I already had a bad feeling," he told The Brunei Times yesterday.
"The place looked like it just recovered from a war. It was dirty and it smelt of everything from the drain to the garbage to the soil.
"I flew in through Bangkok and Mumbai and I was 100 per cent committed all the way. But as soon as I reached Goa it went down to zero per cent.
"I got to the club's guest house and I was already thinking about how to get back. I already knew I didn't want to stay because my heart was not comfortable.
"Before that I was proud to become the first Bruneian to play overseas, but when I was there I didn't think about that at all," he sighed.
The 25-year-old hitman also said the situation in Goa was not what he had signed up for.
His Malaysian agent Hizo Hizwan had told him Sporting Clube de Goa were already mid-way through their season and he would be offered a contract straight away.
But when Shahrazen met with club officials on Tuesday night he found out that the team were on a break until April, when they would compete in a month-long tournament to fight for a place in the I-League 1st Division play-offs.
He would also have to go through trials, so he didn't have a job waiting for him after all as promised.
Despite trying their best to persuade him to stay until the end of the month at least, Sporting Clube de Goa's pleas fell on deaf ears.
"They understood I was not comfortable," explained Shahrazen.
"At first they wanted me to stay. They said I was stressed because it was my first time in India and they asked me to wait for 15 to 20 days and make my decision after that.
"But I was straight forward with them and told them I could not continue," stressed the Bruneian.
Shahrazen had by this time already talked to Hizo and asked him to book his return flight, but the agent also advised him to stick around in Goa for a while and slug it out.
The striker said that things only looked up for him when Hizo called at 3am on Wednesday to say that he had talked to the club officials and would try to get him a ticket back to Brunei.
Shahrazen went to his one and only training session on Wednesday morning and was out of Goa by 2.30pm the same day.
Though he admits he was less than happy with his agent, Shahrazen has no hard feelings.
"At first I was stressed and disappointed. I was also a bit angry at the agent but after he helped me get back it was alright," he said.
According to Shahrazen, Hizo had heard about him from his time in the Malaysian Super League (MSL) with DPMM FC when the striker finished joint top scorer during the 2006/2007 season with 21 goals.
Shahrazen also led DPMM FC in scoring during their debut S-League season in 2008/2009 by finding the back of the net nine times and was crucial to the team's Singapore League Cup championship run in 2009.
He had previously received offers to play in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia from other agents, but none were as concrete as India.
A store-keeper at the Department of Public Works (JKR), Shahrazen's leave which was to be until April 30 is now void and he will report back to work today.
Despite his first stint overseas leaving him with a bad taste in the mouth, Shahrazen said he was still eager to ply his trade abroad.
"The agent is now looking for clubs in Hong Kong and Singapore ... Basically places where the transfer window is still open," said Shahrazen.
"All in all I'm disappointed with what has happened.
"I still want to play abroad but I must do proper research first, I don't want it to be like this again." The Brunei Times