KOTA KINABALU: Harold John is at the crossroads and likely to walk out of the Sabah squad end of this month.
The Number One custodian is set to play what could be his last match for Sabah on Friday.
And his ‘quit’ decision might not go down well with his employer – the Sabah FA.
But there is nothing much that Harold can do as he will not go against the wishes of his family members, especially his parents.
The reason for Harold’s likely quit decision is he has been accepted to become a police constable.
A close friend of the player, who opted for anonymity, said Harold looks set to quit the team.
He said Sabah’s away clash against Shahzan Muda on Friday will be his last match for the team unless he has a change of heart, which is very unlikely!
For the record, after the Shahzan Muda clash, the Premier League will be taking a three-week break and would resume on March 5 where Sabah will be playing away to Sarawak.
“The way things are going, he (Harold) will not go against the wishes of his parents and I doubt he would stay with the team.
“I know deep in his heart he wants to stay for another season or at least honour his current contract, but he is a hapless man now.
“The uncertainty surrounding the M-League team as proven in the past such as the late payment of salary, players’ welfare and so on makes it more difficult for him not to listen to his parents. “This year there may be no problem, but what guarantee does he have for next year.
He went on to say that Harold is likely to submit a request to be released from his contract to the Sabah FA after the Shahzan Muda clash.
“Despite what is surrounding him, the Shahzan Muda clash will be a big game for him … a game he definitely does not want to lose. He wants to use the game and prove that football is his life!
On the other hand, he said that among the reasons why Harold’s family wants him to take up the offer is they want him to have a steady career and good future.
“Although they know Harold will not be getting as much as he gets as a professional player, but he will have a secure income if he is to become a police constable.
“Life as a footballer is short, and they (Harold’s family) don’t believe he will have a good future if he stays as a professional player.
Furthermore, even if Harold, who turns 25 on March 23, accepts the offer, he still stands a very good chance of seeing action in the M-League by representing Police, who like Sabah is plying their trade in the Premier League.
Maybe not for this season, but next season, he should make it into the Police squad with the talent that he has.
And if Harold says yes to the offer, he will report to the State Police Headquarters in Kepayan on Feb 28 before departing to Kuching on March 1 where he will be undergoing training at the PULAPOL Kuching in neighbouring Sarawak.
The Keningau-lad made his Sabah debut in 2007 after his stint with the State’s President’s Cup squad.
The contest for the State Number One jersey has been between Harold and Irwan Jamil during the last one of two years.
But with Irwan currently recuperating from a mysterious injury on the lower part of his stomach, and now having a long layoff, Harold has taken the Number One jersey and deputised the young Mohd Salawi Jasad and the veteran Mark Damun.