Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Hat-trick magic boosts Wahidi's confidence

Abdullah Wahidi was doubting his ability early on Saturday, until he struck a quick hat-trick of goals for Goulburn Valley Suns and then his doubts were soon forgotten.

MATTHEW GALEA April 15, 2014 3:20am

Abdullah Wahidi scored a hard-fought hat-trick for the Goulburn Valley Suns’ under-20 side at the weekend.

Abdullah Wahidi doubted he was cut out for National Premier Leagues Victoria under-20 soccer midway through the first half on Saturday.

He’d already failed to take three one-on-one opportunities against Port Melbourne Sharks, and after failing to make the most of a number of opportunities in the previous week’s match against Heidelberg United, Wahidi was ready to give up.

‘‘I’d get through and I’d just kick it straight at the keeper instead of going around him or something. I panicked,’’ Wahidi, 19, said.

‘‘I just started to feel like I wasn’t good enough and I even thought about giving up, but ‘Serks’ (Serkan Aktas, coach) kept me on.’’

Then the first goal went in.

Then the second followed and before long the third.

It was a crazy 17 minutes for the striker, but it was just the tonic he needed.

‘‘Once I got the first one, I was a lot more composed,’’ Wahidi said.

‘‘We had lots of chances to finish and it was good to start finishing them in the end. All the set ups came from my teammates, so they made it easy for me.’’

The quality of the team, which has taken a win and a draw from its first four games, not including the game against Ballarat Red Devils that was abandoned with the Suns 3-1 up due to the broken leg Red Devil Jake Francis suffered, has come as a surprise even to Wahidi.

‘‘I wasn’t very interested in playing initially, so I missed the first game,’’ Wahidi said.

‘‘I came and saw the game against Oakleigh (that finished in a 1-3 defeat) and I was impressed. I saw that it was a good league and a big league and I wanted to get involved.’’

The decision has proven a golden one so far, and even in the short time he has been a Sun, Wahidi has seen big improvements in his game.

‘‘The training is really good. We’ve done a few good finishing drills where I’m learning how to push defenders off and use my body,’’ Wahidi said.

‘‘I’m a lot more aggressive now as a striker. I never used to push off or anything, but now I’m being taught how to shield defenders and use my body, I’m learning a lot.

‘‘I’m still only 19, so I think it’s good for me to be playing in the 20s, but hopefully next year I can play seniors.’’

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