Youngster Firhan Ashaari has a knack for scoring match winning goals. And he will be hoping to repeat such feat when his team tenaga Nasional Berhad lines up against defending champions KL Hockey Club in the TNB Cup final this Sunday.Firhan scored a goal seven seconds from time to help Malaysia win bronze in the inaugural AHF Champions Trophy in Ordos China two years ago. Then in March last year he scored the equaliser for SSTMI in the come from behind win over UniKL Young Guns for the Milo Cup in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League.
His heroics did not end there for in July, this time donning the jersey of his home state Terengganu, Firhan popped up with a winner in the 84th minute against Penang in the semi finals of the Malaysia Games in Kuantan.
"I always believe that the game is there for it to be won and thus never give up until the final whistle. It all boils down to determination and hard work and really its no personal glory but all boils down to team work," said the 19 year old Firhan who is expected to play a key role in Malaysia's quest at the Junior World Cup in New Delhi this December.
"I have had my ups and downs in hockey and it has been a learning process for me. Playing for TNB is a great opportunity and we need to win the final to show our appreciation to our employers TNB.
"It wll not be easy against the KLHC defence as they have several good defenders in Mohd Razie Rahim, Ahmad Kazamirul and Muhammad Imran. Thus chances will be few and its important to take whatever chances that come our way.
"No doubt KLHC are the favourites but we are determined to be on the top this time around and I believe our performance is on the upward trend and we are peaking at the right time."
Firhan made his national team debut at the Sultan Azlan Sjhah Cup last year and earned six caps. But an indifferent performance during the MHL last year meant that he failed to catch the eye of national coach Paul Revington and was thus left out of the national team that played in the Champions Challenge, AHF Champions Trophy and the 2013 Azlan shah Cup.
But sterling performances in the ongoing MHL has given hope to Firhan who was in the squad of 26 named by Revington last Monday and he hopes to cement his place in the national team.
"Having worked hard to get into the training team, I intend to double my efforts to break into the final 18 for the World League semis as well as the Asia Cup," said the determined Firhan.
"It will take a lot of hard work to dislodge the experienced forwards in the team but I need to rebouble my efforts if I want to be a permenant fixture in the national set-up.
"But first I need to win the Cup this Sunday and that will motivate me to do well in the national camp that starts next week."