Just befotre the season began, Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim had second thoughts about playing for UniKL in the TNB Malaysian Hockey League as was made an offer too good to refuse by Terengganu HT.But he did not trek east as did many other players and it could well be the best decision this budding player made for the good of his career. For the diminutive Faeez, or Petak as he is nicknamed, is amongst the top scorers in the MHL.
He has scored a total of 8 goals, and is in third spot, behind Faisal Saari (10 goals) and Khasif Ali (9) goals. and what is more remarkable is taht Faeez has scored two thirds of UniKL's total goals for the season that stand at 12 currently.
Winning the top scorer award is within his reach and it will not be something new for the 2009 Junior Hockey League top scorer. Faeez was also voted as the most promising player in the 2009 Razak Cup in Kuala Lumpur land named the best player in the South East Asia (SEA) Cup in Bangkok in 2009.
Last night (Tuesday) was another feather in the cap of the player who lists Usain Bolt as his sports hero. For Faeez led his national junior team onto the stage to receive the 2012 Best Team Award in the National Sports Award.
They were picked for winning the Junior Asia Cup in May 2012, the first time ever Malaysia won the title and assured them a place in the 2013 Junior World Cup.
However Faeez will not be playing in the Junior World cup as he is overaged.
"It is a wonderful momment and we never expected to win the award given that there are many senior teams that have also done well last year. It is indeed an honour for us and this will spur the team to do better in the Junior World Cup in India this December," said the soft spoken Faeez who played for Hatem Hockey Club in the Dutch second division two years ago.
"The team has talent and just needs to believe in their ability to ensure at least a top six finish in India."
Faeez shoulders a heavy responsibility for UniKL, as not only is he the key player in penalty corners, but also man's the UniKL defence. The fact that the team comprises of youngsters, with the exception of the likes of S. Selvaraju and Baljot Singh, adds pressure on Faeez to churn out consistent performances, week in and week out.
"We go out onto the pitch without any pressure as the opponents have more experienced players. Hence that helps us play our game and it does not put us under unnecessary pressure," said Faeez.
"But we tend to make mistakes, some that are due to lack of experience while others through trying to overdo things, and these factors cost us points and also we concede goals as well.
"But overall I think we are doing relatively well in the MHL, though we are unlucky at times. We are giving the more established sides a run for their money and not being outclassed on the pitch."
Faeez started playing hockey for Sekolah Kebangsaan Rantau Panjang in Klang before moving to the Bandar Penawar Sports School ( now known as Sekolah Sukan Tengku Mahkota Ismail).
With fishing as his hobby, the well mannered Faeez is a joy to watch on the pitch when let loose to join the attack. His reading of the games, with astute positioning and cool tackling has allowed UniKL to get out of trouble many a time.
"UniKL is one big happy family and the officials have been great in encouraging us. What UniKL is doing for hockey should be emulated by other institutions of higher learning as not only do they give youngsters a chance to improve in hockey but also provide education opportunities that will serve us well in the future,"added Faeez.
"We need to get some points in Penang this weekend and I really hope taht we get a good draw for the last eight."