Tuesday, March 19

Kelantan Experienced Players


Kelantan would not be making any drastic changes in their regular line up with Daudsu Jamaluddin playing on the right.

Zamri Morshidi

He was part of Johor FC from 2006/07 and 2007/08 season. He returned to Kelantan FA after finishing his contract with Johor FC.

He was in the Malaysia’s under 23 side that won the 2007 Merdeka Tournament. He then make it into the senior team during 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC) against Bahrain.

Daudsu who scored the infamous own goal that led to Kelantan’s defeat in FA Cup fi nal against Terengganu would see him squaring off with Sarawak’s left f lank sensation Ashri Chuchu. Any mistakes by the two players would be costly for their teams tonight.

Daudsu can pose a problem for Sarawak through his overlapping runs but risks exposing the Kelantan defence as Sarawak’s counter attacks created the majority of the goals in their build up games. Ke l a nt a n c a r e t a ke r coach, Dato M Karathu is also expected to field Subramaniam and Farisham Ismail in centre of the defence while leftback spot would be manned by Aziz Ismail due to injury to regular, Zairol Fitree Ishak.

The Kelantan defenders would be having tough time trying to shackle Sarawak’s strike force that deploy Bobby Gonzales as lone striker, backed by three attacking midfi elders in Ashri Chuchu, Zamri Morshidi and new signing Jaganathan. The Sarawak strikeforce scored 40 goals between them as Bobby scored 16, while Ashri, Zamri and Jaganathan scored eight goals each. In the middle of the park, Kelantan talismanic captain Mohd Badhri Mohd Radzi fondly known as Piya among the Kelantan fans would team up with Shakir Shaari.

Piya missed the 2 0 0 9 Malaysia Cup final against Negeri Sembi lan due to fractured leg. He returned with a vengeance in last year’s final and scored the winning goal against Negeri Sembilan. He was named the 100 Plus most exciting player in the fi nal. Piya’s goal also brought home the cup for the fi rst time for Kelantan and breaking the 89 years duck. On the left, Kelanatn would have Mohd Nurul Azwan Roya who played for Johor FC for fi ve seasons from year 2005 to 2010 before returning home to Kelantan.

He was among the key players that helped Johor FC qualify to the semi-final of Malaysia Cup last season before bowing out to Negeri Sembilan. On the right fl ank it will be a toss-up between K.Soley and with S Chanturu as there is very little to choose between them. K Soley played for Kedah from the year 2002 to 2007 and help the Canaries to win FA Cup in 2007, before migrating to Perlis until 2010, and signed up for cash rich Kelantan this season. S Chanturu who al so hailed from Kedah, played for Malaysia Under 23 team and graduated into Malaysia senior team. The 24 year old is famous for his work rates and brilliant assists from the right fl ank.

Sarawak team Azman is not the only one not knowing much about Sarawak team. Those who did not follow the local football scene since the last five years could be forgiven for not knowing the names of Sarawak players. In the list supplied by Footbal l Association Of Sarawak is Abang Mohd Za’afari Abang Othman.

He started playing in the Abdul Jalil Ramlee, Mohd Ali Sapiee and Roslan Ismail era under coach Alan Vest manymany moons ago. The only big name i n Sarawak team is probably Bobby Gonzales. Bobby is a Sabahan who has represented Malaysia at all levels of junior football. He played for Malaysia Under 15, Under 18 and Under 23 but not the senior team. Bobby who scored 16 goals for Sarawak to date this year knew that would he would be tightly marked in Malaysia Cup.

Playing as a lone striker for Sarawak, Bobby was very fortunate to have four supporting midfielders who clicked very well with him. The Sabahan who hailed from Beaufort, start playing for his home state in year 2003 when he was only 18 year old.

He was Sabah top scorer for the season 2007-2008 before migrating to Brunei DPMM FC and KL Plus FC. Bobby’s f irst stint for Sarawak was in the year 2005, playing under Coach Abdul Jalil Ramli in the star studded squad that also feature Malaysia top striker, Safee Saili. Attacking mode On the left flank is Ashri Chu Chu. At 20 years of age, Ashri is the most reliable among the many young players in the squad.

The left footer has won the coach’s trust to earn a regular place in the fi rst eleven. He is famous for his long range attempt that can catch the opponent’s custodian napping. On the right f lank of Sarawak midfi eld is the team captain, Zamri Morshidi. Zamri hailed from a sleepy hollow Kampung Telaga Air near here.

Zamri is a man of a few words off the fi eld but transform into very fi erce fi ghter whenever leading his charges. He scored regularly for Sarawak, apart from providing assists for Ashri and Bobby with his great foot work and darting runs. Sarawak’s engine room is normally manned by Benedict Martin. Not many have heard about this guy since he is very new to the local football scene.

The reason was very simple. Benedict plied his football in Peninsular Malaysia before returning home recently. The Iban boy is a product of Sekolah Sukan Bukit Jalil. He once played for Selangor and Perak, and is endorsed by Nike. Yes, you read it right. He was endorsed by Nike while he was playing for Perak. Another midfi eld dynamo that normal ly cont rol s Sarawak rhythm of play is veteran, Wong Sai Kong. Wong is a versatile player who can play literally any position.

The former national player first played for Sarawak during Abdul Jalil Ramlee era. Also fi ghting for a place but rarely action now is Abang Mohd Za¡¦afari. He was not fielded when Sarawak took on Kuching selection on Tuesday but that does not mean he is going to warm the bench throughout Malaysia Cup campaign.

A quick chat with assistant coach, Farhan Abdullah revealed to me the names of the five regular defenders as Mazwandi Zekeria, Mohd Dzulazlan Ibrahim, Mohd Hairol Moktar, Sahran Abd Samad and Mohd Shahrol Saperi. In the match against Kuching, Mazwandi showed great maturity for a very young player.

He made a few dangerous breaks from the left side of the fi eld. At a toss of coin, the defender switched role to become winger, dribbling past four Kuching players but was unfortunate his shot went wide after doing a “one-two” with Zamri Morshidi. Fa rhan told me that Mazwandi was on 17 years old when first playing for Sarawak in SUKMA under him in year 2006, meaning he is only 22 years old now.

That boy got bright potential and they are very lucky to play under great coach likes Roberts Alberts, the assistant coach said. On the right, defender Dzulazlan Ibrahim is simply a no-nonsense hard tackler who successfully shackled his opponent in the game against Kuching selection.

His fitness level was superb, running almost non-stop as the Kuching team was regularly doing substitutions.

The five defenders would be the backbone of Sarawak patience football. One must remember that Kelantan have National top striker Mohd Norshahrul Idlan and signed two Pahang strikers Azamuddin Akil and R Surendran in their attempt to defend Malaysia Cup. Whipping teams like Kuala Lumpur 5-0, Police 2-0 and Selangor 1-0 in their friendly matches.

Against the Police, Kelantan was only sending in the reserve players, not the fi rst eleven. Malaysia Cup Signings Chun Keng Hong who played as central defender is still nursing an injury. He was injured in the friendly against Negeri Sembilan. The injury however was not very serious.

Robert Alberts told reporters on Sunday that Chung is expected to be fully fit for the cruncher against Kelantan.

Jaganathan who played as back up striker against Kuching selection was a livewire from the fi rst whistle.

He was everywhere in the game, initiating attacks and holding back when Sarawak come under attack.

Jaganathan when asked recently said he is already feeling at home in Sarawak replied he was not having problem mixing with other players in the team and was confi dent that the team would be able to make it to the second round.