Statewide trials unearth 12 new faces so far

KUCHING: Twelve players have been identified during the ongoing statewide search for a new Sarawak team to compete in the President’s Cup or the Malaysian Reserve League next season.They are Micah Davis Labo and Hairol Ghadafi Haron (Miri), Bietchly Kiroh (Limbang), Hilson Hingan Entinggie (Kapit), Mohd Zainul Ariffin, Antonio Beckness and Awangku Dhiya Hishamuddin (Bintulu), Quinton Gik (Sibu), Hasbullah Subeli and Abdul Hatta Ahmad (Sarikei), Abdul Kadir Sebie (Betong) and Abang Azaharudin (Sri Aman).

Team manager Posa Majais said this lot was the cream of the crop from the selection trials that started in Miri since Nov 9, before proceeding to Limbang and other parts of the state.

He added that the search would now proceed to Serian with trials scheduled today at its District Office field. The next stops are Simunjan District on Saturday and Gedong on Sunday before the final selections in Kuching on Dec 8.

“All the 12 players identified from the trials in Miri, Limbang, Kapit, Bintulu, Sibu, Sarikei, Betong and Sri Aman are also asked to report for training at State Indoor Stadium, also on Dec 8,” Posa said yesterday.

He was happy with the good turnout during the trials and hoped to see the same response in Serian, Simunjan, Gedong and Kuching.

Although many had come to impress the selection panel, only the best were selected and he is confident the new players will do the state proud.

Posa is also happy with the commitment shown by the selectors comprising assistant team manager Abang Fomay Abang Saadeli and coaches Sulaiman Mustanir, Jahar Nor and Mohd Azly Abdullah.

“I’m proud of them. They have enabled us to unearth rough diamonds awaiting to be polished in many parts of the state,” he said.

The statewide trials are undertaken by Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) following financial problems this season that led to many players quitting or contemplating to quit the team next season.

FAS is also reported to be mulling a three-year break from the Malaysian League but will continue to participate in the President’s Cup, also known as the Reserve League.

In fact, the selection trials were open only to players aged 23 and below – the age limit for this competition.

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