Monday, 12 December 2011

Selangor targetting glory next season

Selangor have their eye on the big prizes again when the new season kicks-off on Jan 10 after enduring a barren year which saw their star striker depart just as the season started before their coach quit during the Malaysia Cup.  

Safee Sali's move to Pelita Jaya led to Selangor going through a miserable year, culminating with coach K. Devan quitting after three Malaysia Cup matches with the 2009 and 2010 Super League champions struggling in the group stage.

But with Irfan Bakti Abu Salim having now taken over after joining from FA Cup winners Terengganu, Selangor hope to get back on track and win all the trophies on offer this season.

"All the teams obviously want to win trophies and we are no different, if possible we want to win them all. But the competition will be much tougher this season with imports allowed in again and the return of Singapore.

"We have our own target but at the very least we aim to win one trophy," said Selangor FA secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Amin.

Selangor have invested heavily again by recruiting 10 new players including Lebanon defender Ramez Dayoub from Myanmar club Magway and Democratic Republic of Congo striker Lelo Mbele of Libyan side Al-Nasr Benghazi.

Among the major local signings are goalkeepers Norazlan Razali and G. Jeevananthan from Kuala Lumpur and Universiti Sains Malaysia respectively, midfielders K. Gurusamy (Young Tigers A), Solehin Kanasian Abdullah (Kelantan) and Hasmarul Fadzir Hassan (Felda United) and forwards Surendran Rasiah, Famirul Asyraf Sayuti (both Pahang) and Wan Hoesne Wan Hussain (Johor FC).

Selangor dropped goalkeepers Iqbal Suhaimi and Saiful Amar Sudar, defenders Khairul Anuar Baharom, D. Surendren and Yosri Derma Raju, midfielders Hardi Jaafar and K. Depan Sakwati and forwards Fadzli Saari, Rudie Ramli and S. Sritharan.

Hamidin said the new players were brought in with the intention of building a new style of play, relying more on fast-paced attacks to attract fans after attendance at the Shah Alam Stadium fell alarmingly below 10,000 at most home games.

"This season, Selangor have a younger squad with only three players in the first XI above the age of 26," said Hamidin, in reference to captain Amri Yahyah (30), right-back P. Gunalan (30) and Jeevananthan (31).

"We intentionally went for a younger squad so that Irfan can create a new style to suit Selangor. We want the players to be able to play a quick attacking game. Whether we win or lose, that is part of football and we hope that Selangor's new way of playing can bring the fans back."

Selangor, however, have taken a gamble on signing Mbele, who has appeared for South Africa's Orlando Pirates, Tunisian club CS Sfaxien who he helped win the CAF Confederations Cup in 2008 and Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal.

Mbele arrived in Shah Alam with a muscle injury he suffered while attached to Libyan side Al Nasr Benghazi resulting in the termination of his contract after just 16 days when he subsequently signed with Kuwait's Al Naser in July.

"We know the extent of his injury and we are confident that Mbele will recover soon. That is why we have made the decision to sign him and we are trying as hard as possible to get him fit before the season starts," added Hamidin, who unsuccessfully tried to find a replacement for Mbele before time ran out ahead of last Thurday's transfer deadline.

No comments:

Post a Comment