Rising Indonesian player Syaffarizal Mursalin Agri is brimming with confidence as he gets ready for his breakthrough with Qatar Stars League (QSL) outfit Al Khor in the new season.
Agri, who has been training with Al Khor for sometime now, has graduated to the senior team from the club's reserve side.
In an exclusive interview, he spoke to QSL website about his career dreams, future plans and what he has picked up while training with Qatar's Olympic coach Alain Perrin.
QUESTION: Tell us something about the beginning of your relationship with the Al Khor team.
ANSWER: I joined the Al Khor squad by chance some two seasons ago. I had been asked by a friend of mine to go and train with Al Khor, which I did. I went to the club and got permission to train. I impressed and got an opportunity to be with the Al Khor reserve side. I also got to play matches representing the reserve side.
QUESTION: How do you see the football last season with the team? ANSWER: I think it was a productive season at a personal level. It was a great season from a team's perspective.
We were among the top five clubs in the QSL. That was a good performance. QUESTION: What are your expectations now that Alain Perrin has moved out as a coach? ANSWER: Alain Perrin spent two season with Al Khor.
He did a good job. In the first season, it was tough for him since we finished in 9th spot in QSL. However, once he got the hang of the players' temperament and ability, we saw good results. He made the team fight and get positive results.
At this point in time we cannot predict what will happen in the new season. QUESTION: How do you look to the participation of Al Khor in the GCC Club Cup Championship? ANSWER: I think it was a satisfying experience to a large extent. We reached the semifinals.
We could have progressed but we met a good side in Al Wasl. The injury to Julio Cesar was a key blow to our aspirations. We missed his services. I feel some players did not give their best.
QUESTION: What do you think Al Khor has to do to be really competitive in QSL? ANSWER: Al Khor has a great set up. We have good young players. The young players need to gain in experience.
I expect to see the team develop into a great unit in the coming years. Once the promising players get the opportunity to play, then the team needs to keep their momentum going. Our momentum fluctuated from game to game last season and this is something we should avoid.
QUESTION: What are your ambitions with Al Khor? ANSWER: At a personal level, I want to be with the senior team. I want to contribute well. I want to gain in experience.
Having said that, I want the team to do really well. In the future, I hope to have the opportunity to play for the Qatar team. QUESTION: How do you find the level of play in QSL? ANSWER:Five years ago, many used to talk about the weaknesses in the QSL set up. But that has all changed now.
Al Sadd, the QSL side, won the AFC Champions League title last year (in November). That shows that QSL sides are really great. They can compete at the Asian level. Al Sadd also finished in third spot in the FIFA World Club Cup in Japan (in December 2011).
That was great too. QUESTION: What is the difference between your home country Indonesia and Doha? ANSWER: I have been living in Qatar since I was four years.
I think the difference is that in Qatar you can move from place to another very quickly whereas in a country like Indonesia, that is not easily possible because it is a large country.
I have studied here and I feel at home in this country. It is a fabulous place.