Just three years ago, he warmed the bench for the Singapore Under-16s as the team cheered the nation with a third-placed finish at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games here.
During that period, striker Hazim Faiz Hassan was often berated by Abdullah Noor, his coach at the Singapore Sports School, who was unhappy with the teenager's lack of movement, poor positional sense and composure in front of goal.
It got so bad that Hazim even flirted with the idea of giving up football.
Today, The New Paper Dollah Kassim Award nominee is very happy he did not follow through with the idea of chucking it all in.
The National Football Academy (NFA) Under-18 striker is scoring for fun these days.
He banged in 27 goals for the NFA Reds in the Prime League this season, almost half of the 60 the Football Association of Singapore's developmental team scored en route to a third-placed finish in the competition.
Hazim's tally was only one behind top scorer Nur Hizami of Home United.
Speaking to TNP last week, 18-year-old Hazim said: "My best qualities now are my finishing and my positioning.
"The team rely on me to score and I have to be reliable in being in the right position to receive the crosses and passes, and finishing them off."