Kota Kinabalu: Goalkeeper Azizon Abd Kadir admitted he left the State with a heavy heart as he and his family flew back to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday evening.
The Perak-born custodian was one of the 15 players whose contracts were not renewed by the Sabah Football Association after three years with the team.
After his final coaching session with the Tabs junior players at the Likas Stadium on Sunday morning he told Express Sports that he was rather disappointed that he was unable to help Sabah avoid the drop at the just concluded season.
“It was just unfortunate that I could not do more for the team but I wish the team all the best and hope they will do well next season.”
He admitted that the past one-year had been the lowest point in his career when he was relegated to the bench by the coaches for the most part of the season.
“I must say the first year was one of the highlights in my career when the team won promotion to the Super League.”
He said he owed a lot to goalkeeper coach Awal Taham and Jasrih Jabirin for their help and advice in his training as well as on coaching the young kids. He also said he had a wonderful relationship with the Sabah FA.
“I have no ill feeling towards them. The management and staff had been wonderful and I thank them for their support throughout my stay here.”
He said he will be going back to Kuala Lumpur to look for a new team and it will most likely to be another Premier League outfit.
Meanwhile, Jasrih who was the goalkeeper coach for Azizon in the 2010 season praised the former international for his professionalism both on and off the field.
“Azizon is the most professional individual I had the pleasure to work with.
To me he is the best goalkeeper the State has had for a long time with his undoubted skill and discipline.”
“His record speaks loudly with him being awarded the best goalkeeper in the Premier League after helping Sabah win promotion in his first season.”
He described Azizon as a very humble guy and always willing to go down to the field to help out the kids without any reward and kept himself occupied even when he was dropped from the team during the season.
“The kids and their parents in Tabs all felt sad and some of them even cried when they learnt about his departure and I am sure the State team are going to miss him too.