The Sabah football team is set to troop into Stadium Negeri tonight with all guns blazing as the squad face their toughest test yet in their preparation for the Super League 2012 campaign when they face host neighbours Sarawak.
The coach Justin Ganai said his team are not taking the match lightly even though it was just a friendly, as he expected tonight’s ‘Borneo Derby’ as having all the ingredients of a fiery encounter.
“We lack competitive matches. The match against Sarawak is our first real test as we only played against local club sides in Sabah prior to coming here. Although we have won big in those matches, I rather face strong teams like Sarawak to really measure the strength of my boys,” he said yesterday.
The Sabah Super League team scored an incredible 30-goal during a string of friendly matches in Sabah prior to their arrival in Kuching.
It is been several years since Sarawak and Sabah were last in the same division and the most important thing in Justin’s mind tonight must be the tough opposition his team faces tonight, and the hot reception from the voracious home fans.
The Sabah coach added that he is a bit worried of the fact that his team lacks big-match exposure unlike Sarawak who has been on a successful Pre-season playing tour to Indonesia recently.
“I see the match tonight against Sarawak as an opportunity to really test my team’s ability and will set out the perfect set of combination to win. Although we have good and experienced players in the squad, they are not tested yet. In fact, I have no opportunities yet to see weaknesses in the Sabah team,” he informed.
He further added that Sarawak is a good and strong team which had had long preparation for the Super League 2012 campaign.
“Sarawak has a lot of good and experienced players that are capable of becoming match-winners. We are playing to win and will field the best first-11 to face Sarawak,” he added.
Kick-off is at 8.15pm at the State Stadium with tickets priced at RM5 and available at the venue.