Sime Darby FC have signed striker Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh from Liberia for their Premier League campaign next season.
The 21-year-old Ronaldinho plays for newly-crowned Liberian champions LISCR FC.
Sime FC secretary and assistant team manager Zainal Amat said coach Ismail Zakaria was impressed with the young striker.
“We were in Liberia to look for players and Ronaldinho caught our eye. We have yet to make a decision on the second foreign player,” said Zainal yesterday.
The club have, more or less, settled on the rest of the team with former Perak hitman Razali Umar Kandasamy among the notable signings.
Zainal said Razali had been jobless since May after his contract was terminated by the Perak FA.
“I hope he will find a new lease of life here with Sime Darby FC. We are aware of his past problems but are prepared to counsel him and resurrect his football career,” said Zainal.
A talented footballer, Razali has often found himself caught in controversy due to disciplinary issues. He went AWOL while with the national Under-23 squad preparing for the 2009 SEA Games in Laos and his expulsion from the Perak team was also due to off-field antics.
Forwards Mohd Zamri Hassan and Irme Mat, from newly-promoted PKNS FC, will also be joining Sime Darby next season together with Johor midfielder Mohd Shoufiq Mohd Khusaini.
Sime Darby, who finished fifth in the Premier League this season, have set themselves a target of earning promotion to the Super League in 2013 with a top-two finish.
“It will be tough because Pahang and Perlis will be playing in the Premier League. We have to strengthen our squad for the challenge ahead,” said Zainal.
The squad, under coach Ismail Zakaria, will be banking on inspirational skipper Mohd Nor Ismail, and strikers Faisal Esahar and Mohizam Shah Dawood Shah to lead their charge.