The Super League has almost reached the half-way mark but for Selangor striker R. Surendren, the season has only just begun.
The 29-year-old football nomad is expected to start for the first time after suffering a dislocated shoulder during pre-season.
“I had a brief taste of action in the FA Cup match against Johor FC last week. I came on for the last 10 minutes or so. But I’m fully fit now and ready to help put Selangor back in contention for the Super League title,” declared a spirited Surendren ahead of the Klang Valley derby against Kuala Lumpur at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow.
The Red Giants have not had a smooth journey in their campaign so far. Coach Irfan Bakti’s men are currently in eighth spot with 12 points from nine matches while their FA Cup campaign ended in the second round after going down to Johor FC 5-4 in the sudden-death penalty shootout last week.
Surendren said Selangor have always been top contenders and will remain so this season.
“We are only eight points behind leaders Kelantan. A string of good results should see us among the top three in no time,” said an optimistic Surendren, who is expected to partner Croatian Bosko Balaban upfront against KL.
“I’m raring to see action after such a long lay off. I feel comfortable playing with Bosko.
Hopefully, we will be able to deliver the goods,” said Surendren, who played a key role in the Red Giants’ treble success — Charity Shield, FA Cup and Super League — in 2009.
He also bagged more than a dozen goals for Selangor and scored the winner in their 2-1 win over Negri Sembilan in the Charity Shield match in 2010.
The Selangor forward line has been badly hit ever since Mohd Safee Sali left to join Indonesian Super League (ISL) outfit Pelita Jaya FC last February.
Although Surendren has yet to start for the Red Giants this season, he could forge a new partnership with Balaban, who has two goals to his credit.
Skipper Mohd Amri Yahyah was moved upfront following Surendren’s injury but the other strikers like Wan Mohd Hoesne Wan Hussain and Famirul Asraf Sayuti are inexperienced.
Selangor have also had to rely on their attacking midfielders like Mohd Safiq Rahim Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal, Mohd Fitri Shazwan Raduwan, Azidan Sarudin and K. Solihin to lend support up front.