Amamchi vows to put two past the LionsXII
Kelantan striker Amamchi vows to score twice against classy LionsXII goalkeeper
From shuttle sprints to shooting practice, Kelantan striker Iwuji Amamchi led every single drill during last night's training session at the Jalan Besar Stadium, displaying full commitment and energy.
So high was his work-rate that even his own teammates struggled to keep up with him and, by the end of the hour-long session, the 22-year-old shed buckets of sweat.
Perhaps it was the extra motivation to add to his solitary league goal (against Johor Darul Ta'zim in April) after finally being given a clean bill of health since joining the north-eastern Malaysian club in April.
Or maybe it's all about making amends against the LionsXII, after a knee problem restricted him to a short and uneventful 15-minute cameo off the bench in May's Malaysian FA Cup final, which his team lost 3-1.
What's certain is that the burly Nigerian is all fired up and he has a big personal aim for tonight's Malaysian Super League (MSL) clash with the LionsXII at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
"I will score two goals against them," Amamchi declared after training yesterday. "Just watch me do it. I will get two goals and help Kelantan win the game.
"I'm very confident, because I'm fully fit now.
"I had injury problems, persistent issues, ever since I joined the team, but I'm 100 per cent now."
He failed to beat an in-form LionsXII goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud the last time the two teams met, but the cocky targetman remains bullish.
"The goalkeeper (Izwan) is good, no doubt about that but, like I said, I wasn't fully fit the other time, and we weren't having the best of games either," said Amamchi of Izwan, whose heroics helped the Singapore national team hold mighty Japan to a 0-0 draw in a World Cup qualifier on June 16.
"At the end of the day, it's all about what happens on the pitch, how the team play, and whether I get the supply I need.
"But I can tell you now that even if he is the best in the region (at the moment), that won't stop me from putting the ball past him.
"I've played in the league back home and against international sides with Nigeria's age-group teams, and I can tell you that he definitely doesn't come close to the kind of goalkeepers I've faced."
Kelantan coach Azraai Khor certainly needs Amamchi to return to scoring form, with the Red Warriors sitting third from bottom in the 12-team MSL on 11 points after a 1-1 draw with Sime Darby on June 23.
The LionsXII, meanwhile, are seventh with 17 points, but have played two games more.
"Amamchi's absence affected our rhythm. Now that he's back, we should start on a positive note," said the 62-year-old veteran.
"We're in a very bad position in the league now, and we really need three points to get back on track.
"There are 11 games left until the end of the league season, and we need to finish higher up the table, where we belong."