Up close & personal with Shahrazen Said

Shahrazen Said is a name that football crazed Brunei will know. The 32-year-old is the record goalscorer for the Sultanate with eight goals to his name. He made headlines after finishing as the joint topscorer in the 2006-2007 Malaysia Super League with 21 goals with DPMM FC and came close to becoming the first Bruneian to play for a foreign club when Indian club Sporting Clube de Goa came knocking couple of years later. We all know his scoring prowess but what made him into the man that he is today? YEE CHUN LEONG of BruSports News got hold of the man himself to find out more.

Q: We all know the national striker but tell us more about the man Shahrazen Said.
A: I work at JKR under the Ministry of Development. I started playing and liking this sport since i was a kid. My father always brought me to watch the Brunei team back in the 90’s. From there I had an ambition to become a professional player and now my dream is a reality.

Q: If you didn’t play football, what would you be doing?
A: This is difficult to answer but if I wasn’t a footballer, I would like to be a businessman.

Picture: Courtesy of S.League/Ortus Media

Q: Can you tell me more about your family? All of your siblings are also footballers just like you?
A: There are are nine of us altogether - all boys and we all play football. It started from our grandfather Said Haji Ahmad who introduced us to the sport. Not only my father but my mother Zaitun binte was very supportive of us and encouraged us to be footballers as well.

  1. Md Amalul Ariffin Shah bin Said (previous teams: AH United, MS ABDB, DPMM FC  | current team: Kota Ranger)
  2. Ahmad Hafiz bin Said (previous teams: DPMM FC and Majra Utd)
  3. Adi bin Said (previous team: Majra Utd | current team: DPMM FC)
  4. Md Abdul Azim bin Said (previous team: Majra Utd)
  5. Md Amirul Sabqi bin Said (previous team: Majra Utd)
  6. Md Amiruddin Nizam bin Said (current team: Menglait FC)
  7. Md Abdul Mateen bin Said (current team: Tabuan A)
  8. Md Hakeme Yazid bin Said (current Team: Tabuan B)

Q: Was there any pressure on you considering that you are the eldest and you had to lead by example?
A: There was no pressure at all because as the eldest brother i knew the capabilities of all my brothers. So the point was just monitoring them and trust them only.

Q: I know what you are a fan of Manchester United. Why is that? Who is you favourite player that you idolise?
A: I’m a fan of Man Utd and have always supported them. This is because Man Utd are a strong team in Europe and the team always create players from zero to becoming a big star.

From before David Beckham is my idol. Everyone knows that he was a special player for Man Utd. That’s why I love to play as a midfielder. I’m originally not a striker and even previously in the national team I played as a midfielder.

Shahrazen Said is a big fan of EPL side Manchester United and idolises David Beckham. Picture: Yee Chun Leong

Q: What is the best moment of your footballing career so far and why?
A: Finishing as the joint topscorer in the MSL. That is the time that I’m most proud of. Everybody knew what i capable of doing that time. I’m also proud be the topscorer with four goals and one assist during the AFC Solidarity Cup 2016 in Kuching.

A difference can be seen before and now though. I scored more goals then as I had more playing time. But the numbers have since gone down since I’m limited to time on the bench.

Shahrazen Said (R) during a DPMM FC training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium. PIcture: Yee Chun Leong

Q: You came close to being the first Bruneian footballer to play in a foreign league in India back in . What happened then?
A: India is a very good place and the people were very kind and friendly. But at the same time, i had problems as my wife was due with our second baby and my late father-in-law was suffering from illness so the family couldn’t concentrate on taking care of my wife at the same time. If i have an opportunity to go there or somewhere else I’m still willing to play.

Shahrazen Said (L) is the country's record goalscorer with eight to his name. Picture: Yee Chun Leong

Q: You are still involved with the national team at the moment. What is it like to play for the country?
A: I feel honoured and proud to still be part of national football team.

Q: When do you think you will retire from football?
A: Maybe when i don’t feel strong enough to play at the highest level anymore. That’s the time I will retire from football.

Q: Would you consider a role in coaching after retirement?
A: Yes, I would love to be a coach. I will give what i know and teach our future footballers.

Shahrazen Said is willing to share his knowledge in a coaching role after retirement. Picture: Yee Chun Leong

Q: What else are you hoping to achieve in your footballing career?
A: My other dream is to be able to make it to the main competition of the AFF Suzuki Cup.

Q: Before ending this interview, what kind of advice can you give to up and coming young footballers? What do you think makes a good footballer?
A: There are lots that I can list out.

  1. Always play fairly, according to the spirit and letter of the rules.
  2. Stay calm under difficult conditions. It’s easy to maintain composure when things go right; when they don’t, real athletes step forward and stand up to the test.
  3. Support and encourage your teammates at all times. All of us make mistakes at times and they are not done on purpose. Encourage your teammates to be the best they can be.
  4. Play as hard as you can in practice and in games. Never be beaten because of the lack of effort. Even opponents who are bigger or more skilled than you can be beaten if you out-hustle them.
  5. Show respect to your coaches, referees, and your opponents; win or lose.
  6. A good football player must have conditioning, skills and tactical knowledge. A player must work on all three to be the best they can be.
  7. When your team has the football, everyone is an attacker; when your opponent has the ball, everyone is a defender.
  8. No matter what position you are in, you are first a football player and you will have to be able to receive, shoot, pass, dribble, head, make space, etc., regardless of your position.
  9. Win, lose or tie; if you have given 100%, when you walk off the field you have nothing to regret and no reason to be ashamed.
  10. Don’t be afraid to be a hero. YOU CAN DO IT!

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