Fazrul is a striker reborn
Fazrul puts Sabah nightmare behind him as he targets glory with Warriors
Locked in a dispute with former employers Sabah, he was forced to train on his own for three months.
Without a single competitive match under his belt, and not even a glimmer of hope on the horizon, it appeared to be the end of the football road for Fazrul Nawaz.
But a month into the 2015 Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League season, Warriors FC gave the 70-capped Singapore international a lifeline, and that was all he needed.
Back with the proverbial bang, the 30-year-old has shot to second in the top scorers' chart with eight goals - three behind Rafael Ramazotti of Brunei DPMM FC.
"I've had a hard start to the year with my contract issue with Sabah, and problems finding another club... I did think about stopping playing football," said Fazrul, who is the top-scoring local-born forward, a spot he has held since 2011.
"The trust and belief that Warriors had in me were very crucial.
"I was training on my own then, and I was very hungry to prove that I could still play."
Fazrul represented the LionsXII in 2013, winning the Malaysian Super League title with V Sundramoorthy's side.
His eight goals also make him the Warriors' top scorer, one in front of Argentinian strike partner Nicolas Velez.
He is clearly enjoying a new lease of life but the veteran is not resting on his laurels.
"Age is just a number, and even though I'm considered an experienced senior player, I know I still have to keep fit and keep up with the younger ones. I have to work even harder than them," said Fazrul, displaying the same level of professionalism and hunger which endeared him to coaches and teammates in the past.
"I've now scored more than Nico, but no, there's no rivalry to outdo each other or anything, we both just want to score and help the team win. And I believe we will get stronger," he added, revealing that it was Velez who gave him the warmest of welcome, sending him text messages that expressed his optimism about the partnership they would establish.
And Velez was spot-on.
"We're creating chances for each other and scoring goals, I didn't expect that we would click so fast or for things to go so well from the very first game we played together," said Fazrul, who is now eyeing domestic football glory with a club he last represented in 2012.
The Warriors currently sit atop the 10-team league standings with 24 points, a point ahead of Albirex Niigata, who played a game more.
"The issue with Sabah has been settled, and now, not only do I want to win the S.League title, but I also hope we can win the RHB Singapore Cup," declared Fazrul.