Aussie tradition in Sarawak football continues

Ryan showing off his new shirt with Sudarsono during the welcoming ceremony at the Stadium Negeri yesterday as head coach Robert Alberts and his new team mates look on. Also seen are FAS deputy president Datu Mohd Abu Bakar Marzuki (right) and FAS vice president Haidel Heli (left).

KUCHING: The latest Sarawak foreign import signing from Australia Ryan Griffiths is

excited to follow the footstep of his fellow countrymen who had played for Sarawak in the past.

Names like David Evans, Alistair Edwards and John Hunter bring a flood of memories to older Sarawak football fans.

They belong to a previous era when Sarawak emerged as a force to be reckoned with in Malaysian football.

Speaking to reporters during his unveiling ceremony at the Stadium Negeri yesterday, Griffiths was well aware of the past contributions of the string of Aussie players who played for Sarawak in the 1990s and after.

“I have heard a lot about Sarawak and I am just excited to be here.

“I think it is interesting for the fans to know that I have met Edwards when he was with the national team as a coaching staff a few years ago,” he added.

The 32-year-old Griffiths played for the Australian national team between 2006 to 2008.

He was a member of the Beijing Guoan who won the Chinese Super League in 2009.

The striker was top scorer for Australian League side Newcastle United Jets for two seasons between 2011 and 2013.

Ryan, whose brother Adam is playing for Kedah in the Premier League, was signed by Sarawak from Adelaide United.

Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) president Datu Sudarsono Osman, who introduced Ryan to fans at the Stadium Negeri yesterday, was glad to welcome the newest Croc on board.

“I think Ryan has got what it takes to play here in Malaysia. His addition to the squad is indeed vital for our Super League campaign this season,” he said.

The new signing immediately joined his new team for training after meeting up with Sudarsono, other FAS officials and members of the press.

Fans can expect to see him in action next Tuesday when Sarawak take on Selangor at the Stadium Negeri.

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