TNP Dollah Kassim Award nominee: Nur Adam Abdullah
The New Paper continues our series on TNP Dollah Kassim Award nominees with Nur Adam Abdullah
Over the last two years, teenage footballer Nur Adam Abdullah has been handed several opportunities to prove himself against some of Europe's and the region's budding youth talents.
An impressive training stint with J2 League club Omiya Ardija last year earned the defender an invitation to play for the Japanese side in the Delta Cup, an international tournament in Holland.
He played a role in helping the team to finish second, grabbing an assist and playing in seven of the side's nine games.
Last year, he made the step up to the Football Association of Singapore's Football Academy (FFA) Under-18 squad and has featured in several tournaments, including this year's Asean Football Federation Under-19 Championship.
These are chances that he knows do not come easily and ones that he treasures dearly.
He credits them for building his confidence and giving him the courage to dream big, saying: "From there, I believed that I could make it to the higher level. They have given me the motivation to work even harder to go to the national team and maybe even overseas."
FFA Under-18 coach Takuya Inoue attributes the 17-year-old's progress to his will to succeed.
The Japanese said: "He's one of the youngest players but he's very talented and promising.
"Mentally, he's strong, which is something that I've seen in very few players.
"He doesn't like to lose and wants to win every duel and competition. He's also good in terms of physical ability and he's also versatile."
Having a strong mentality has been vital to helping the Singapore Sports School student overcome various obstacles he has encountered.
The first six months with the Under-18 team were trying times for the teenager who struggled to assimilate into the squad.
He doesn’t like to lose and wants to win every duel and competition.FFA Under-18 coach Takuya Inoue on Nur Adam Abdullah.
He said: "I felt like quitting, I wanted to return to the Under-17 team.
"I didn't feel motivated to play because the chemistry was low, but after a while, I got to know them better and I'm very happy to be with them now."
He learnt the importance of having a powerful resolve three years ago, when a broken shinbone left him out of action for half a year.
Being a spectator was painful for Adam, but it was then that he slowly strengthened his resilience.
He said: "I was very disappointed. If you're injured, you can't do anything but I tried to work on my mentality. I spent a lot of time watching videos on motivation to motivate myself to work harder each day."
His endless dedication has been rewarded with his second The New Paper Dollah Kassim award nomination, with his first coming two years ago.
Missing out on being nominated last year only fuelled his determination to do better, so that he could get another shot at winning the award.
This could give Adam the chance to enjoy another overseas stint with a reputable academy, courtesy of Singapore Pools.
He said: "I'm very excited, very happy to be nominated again because I've been working very hard from the beginning of the year.
"Last year, I tried but I just got promoted to the Under-18 category.
"I couldn't get into the nomination and I was disappointed in myself. But I tried to work hard and I'm glad that I made it here again."
Name: Nur Adam Abdullah
Team: FFA Under-18
Date of birth: 13 April 2001
Favourite team: Manchester United
Favourite players: Sergio Ramos, Hariss Harun, Safuwan Baharudin