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James bags ‘best foreign player’ award in Malaysia football

James bags ‘best foreign player’ award in Malaysia football

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Vincentian footballer Marlon “Tusty” James, bagged the best foreign player award in the Malaysia Football League, which ended late last month.{{more}}

It was the third time James had that accolade bestowed on him, having won the awards in the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons, then as a Kedah member.

The most recent award, though, came in his first season representing Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM), also known as the Armed Forces.

James, a striker, in the 2011-2012 campaign netted 33 goals in all competitions for the season, with his best form coming in the Malaysia Cup, in which he scored in every match, finishing with 12 goals from his 10 matches.

His efforts helped ATM lift the premier league, which promotes them to the super league for the 2012-2013 season.

ATM also went on to the finals of the Malaysia Cup, but lost 2-3 in extra time to Kelantan.

Commenting on his first stint with the club, James, who is back home on a short vacation, told SEARCHLIGHT on Friday, “It was an up and down season for us, as we thought it would have been a runaway for us. But it came down to the last four matches.

“We had an average season in the premier league, but we got it almost perfect in the Malaysia Cup … We played some entertaining football … We were the surprise package in the Malaysia cup,” James said.

James said his contribution was paramount and as a seasoned player, much was expected of him.

“Overall, for me, it was a good season … even at age 35 going on to 36, playing with ATM definitely revived my career and hunger for the game,” stated.

And, already James has inked another season with the club and is set to return to Malaysia later this month.

The 2011-2012 outing was a return to the Malaysian football set-up for James. In 2008, the football authorities there placed a ban on foreign players.

His last sojourn in the 2006-2007 season, then representing Kedah FC, James was pivotal as they won every trophy that was at stake — the Malaysian Super League, the Malaysian Cup and the Malaysian FA Cup.

James began his international professional career in Ireland with Bray Wanderers in 2000. He transferred to Tirense in the Portuguese Second Division in 2001, and later played for Sabah FC and MK Land in Malaysia, before finishing off his Malaysia sojourn with Kedah.

He then moved to Canada’s Vancouver Whitecaps in December 2008, but was released by the North American club in August 2010. (RT)

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